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uc M.L. 

977.301 
M24n 
v. 2 
1198438 



-ogycolle; 



3 1833 00839 7470 



CITY OF 



Decatur and Macon County 



ILLINOIS 



A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement 



HON. WILLIAM E. NELSON 
Editor 



: Local history is the ultimate substance of national history." — Wilson 



VOLUME II 



ILLUSTRATED 



CHICAGO 

THE PIONEER PUBLISHING COMPANY 



1193138 



BIOGRAPHICAL 



JAMES MILLIKIN. 

Plain and unpretentious in manner, James Millikin's breadth of vision and 
loftiness of ideals gave him a foremost place in Decatur's citizenship. This 
was not alone by reason of his success which, however, was notable, but also 
by reason of a humanity which found its expression in its helpfulness toward 
those who deserved assistance and his benefactions as manifest in liberal con- 
tributions to church, charity and education. The Millikin National Bank is 
a monument to his business enterprise; the Millikin University a monument 
to his public spirit. If there could be gathered in one assemblage the men 
who owe their present success to the timely assistance of Mr. Millikin, the 
number would be astonishingly large. His aid was not only of a material char- 
acter, but also at times constituted the needed word of advice or counsel that 
was the outcome of his own clear judgment and broad experience. 

Mr. Millikin was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, August 2, 1827. 
He was always loath to give an account of himself, and thus are lacking many 
points which would prove of interest in his life history. His youthful days 
were spent in his father's home, his environment being that of the farm and 
the district school in which he acquired his early education. A desire for 
broader learning, however, prompted him to eagerly take advantage of the op- 
portunity for attending Washington College, of Pennsylvania, where he con- 
tinued his studies for three years. Many members of the Millikin family were 
representatives of the medical fraternity, and it was hoped and believed by 
his family that James Millikin might determine upon the medical profession 
as a life work, but his views did not coincide with the family wish, as he 
believed that his talents lay in other directions. To the west with its limitless 
opportunities he turned his attention. He realized the fact that the broad and 
rich Mississippi valley must eventually become thickly populated as the tide of 
emigration was steadily flowing in that direction. To Illinois he therefore 
made his way in 1848, and choosing Danville, Vermilion county, as his place 
of location, turned his attention to the livestock business, raising, purchasing 
and trading in stock of all kinds. He also rented farms upon which he pas- 
tured and fed his stock, and in control of his business interests showed keen 



6 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

discernment, excellent executive ability and unfaltering enterprise. There early 
came to him a realization of the fact that earnest labor, intelligently directed, 
constitutes the safest foundation upon which to build success, and through- 
out his entire life he remained a busy man. Even in his later years when lib- 
eral success crowned his efforts, he had no idle hours, for when business did 
not claim his attention, reading and travel were entered into with the same 
zest that he gave to commercial and financial problems. 

Very early in his business career Mr. Millikin came to recognize oppor- 
tunities that others passed heedlessly by. He saw that land must naturally 
rise rapidly in value as the state became thickly settled, and anticipating this 
increase in property valuation, he made extensive and judicious investments in 
Illinois and southwestern Iowa, securing much of his land for a dollar or a 
dollar and a quarter per acre. He was the original owner of the tract upon 
which the town of Bement, Illinois, now stands, and by purchase there came 
into his possession many acres of broad prairie upon which no improvements 
had been made, but which in due course of time commanded a high market 
price. 

Decatur, too, showed the usual signs of growth and development, and in 
fact seemed imbued with a spirit of enterprise and progress that promised well 
for the future. Accordingly Mr. Millikin turned his attention to this city, of 
which he became a resident in 1856, remaining here until his death, which oc- 
curred fifty-three years later. He did not change his occupation with his resi- 
dence, however, but continued to deal in lands, city real estate and livestock, 
thus becoming recognized as one of the prosperous and enterprising men of 
Decatur. 

It has been said that Mr. Millikin reached Decatur with seventy-five thou- 
sand dollars which he had made in the previous six years. This was a for- 
tune for those days, and when some of the citizens learned the sum of his 
capital they approached him with the proposition that he should engage in 
banking here. At or shortly before that time the banking business in Decatur 
was not flourishing. Financial institutions had been established, but had failed. 
This mark of confidence in Mr. Millikin was appreciated by him, and although 
he knew nothing from practical experience about the banking business, by that 
time he had become cognizant of his own capacities and powers in the business 
world, and he believed that he could master the intricacies of banking as other 
men had done. In i860, therefore, the Millikin Bank, then a private institu- 
tion, opened its doors for business. Its office was in the old Railroad Bank 
building on Merchant street, and over the door was the sign, "James Millikin, 
Banker." The Railroad Bank had failed a short time before, and Decatur's 
thirty-eight hundred people had had their confidence in banking institutions 
somewhat shaken. Mr. Millikin's efforts, however, were followed with a meas- 
ure of success that encouraged him to continue in the business. In 1863 he 
admitted J. Q. A. Odor to a partnership under the style of Millikin & Odor, 
but this relation was soon dissolved. His next partner, admitted in 1865, was 
Jerome R. Gorin, at which time the firm style of J. Millikin & Company was 
assumed. The two gentlemen remained as sole proprietors until 1881, when 
Mr. Gorin withdrew, the bank, however, continuing under the style of J. Milli- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 7 

kin & Company until 1897, when it was incorporated and became the Millikin 
National Bank. Mr. Gorin, however, was succeeded by his son Orville B. 
Gorin, who had been with the bank from 1865, and later Milton Johnson be- 
came a partner, but sold his interests to Parke Hammer in January, 1892. Four 
years later Mr. Hammer died, and soon afterward J. M. Brownback acquired 
an interest. These were all the partners Mr. Millikin had up to 1897, when 
the bank of J. Millikin & Company passed out of existence, and incorporated 
the Millikin National Bank. 

While the name of the bank remained so long unchanged, its home has un- 
dergone many chances, both in location and dimension. The increasing busi- 
ness necessitated larger quarters, and the spirit of enterprise which has ever 
been characteristic of the institution, demanded a more modern equipment for 
the conduct of the business. The first removal was made in 1864 to the north 
side of East Main street, and in 1880 greatly improved offices were secured at 
the corner of East Main and Water streets. The tearing down of the old 
building and the erection of the new Millikin Bank block necessitated a re- 
moval in 1894 to temporary quarters, and on the 12th of February, 1910, the 
present building was occupied. With regard to size, convenience, impregna- 
bility of money vaults and safety deposit vaults, the bank is unequalled by any 
in Illinois outside of Chicago. The years between 1865 and 1881, on which 
latter date Jerome R. Gorin withdrew, constitute a period within which the 
bank's solid and lasting foundations were laid and during which it passed 
through its most trying vicissitudes. It was founded on such a safe, conserva- 
tive policy, however, that it stood up under even the great financial stress of 
1873. This was largely due to the faith and confidence which the public re- 
posed in its owners. The growth of the business is indicated by the fact that 
while it was "next to nothing in i860, in 1910 its business totaled five million 
dollars." This has been the result of steady growth and the wise business 
management and keen discernment of Mr. Millikin and his partners. In a 
contemporary publication appeared the following: "The dominating character- 
istics of James Millikin were honesty, intelligence, industry and prudence, with 
broad benevolence underlying all. And it is a mistaken idea, if such a notion 
exists, that his benevolence was almost wholly general and seldom shown in 
individual cases. But, while we know that in his personal capacity he helped 
numerous persons to whom he could not lend the bank's funds, it is as a 
banker we wish now to consider him. From the first to last he rang clear and 
true in answer to the prime question every careful would-be depositor silently 
asks in his heart of a banker: Is he honest? There was never a doubt of this 
at any time in his career. The next questions: Has he the requisite business 
sagacity? The necessary prudence and conservativeness ? The sound, true 
judgment of men and affairs that a banker must have to succeed? were all 
answered, year after year, with increasing emphasis in the affirmative. Not in 
a day, nor a year, nor a decade, did he build to the top his reputation as a 
banker, but in a half century. And at no time in all these years did he lose 
the confidence of those who entrusted their money to his care. Mr. Millikin's 
personal investments in nearly every instance were remunerative. And the in- 
vestments and loans of the bank as a rule were wisely and safely placed." 



8 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

One of Mr. Millikin's forces of success as a banker was his keen under- 
standing of men. He was seldom if ever at fault in judging an individual. 
Long after he had become one of the most successful bankers of Illinois he 
said that frequently he loaned men five times as much as they were worth be- 
cause he believed in their ability to successfully control the business in which 
they were engaged. It was ever true of the record made by his bank that it 
never refused to pay on demand to any man who had a deposit there, and 
when, in the latter part of 1907, banks in all parts of the country were suspend- 
ing active payment and giving clearing house certificates or other paper forms 
that were not exactly money, Mr. Millikin determined not to break the record 
which he had made in always giving cash on demand, and going into the mar- 
ket bought currency for which he paid a handsome premium. As it turned 
out, he did not need the money, but he was ready if he had been asked for it, 
and thus was qualified to maintain the clear record of the bank untarnished. 

The building up of an institution of the character of the Millikin Bank 
would alone entitle its promoter to the definite consideration and high honor of 
his fellowmen. This was not all Mr. Millikin did, however, for Decatur. He 
financed many business projects which have been of material benefit to the 
city. He stood behind the Union Iron Works until it had passed the critical 
stage in its existence, securing the services of good men, and did much to make 
the enterprise one of the most successful manufacturing concerns of the city. 
Many other valuable industries were well started and prosperously conducted 
owing to his material assistance and wise counsel, and his well formulated 
plans. Many who received assistance from Mr. Millikin became strong men in 
the growth of the city, and the enterprises that employed their energies made 
the town. His own business career was not always one of continuous prog- 
ress. In the earlier years it was one of continuous, arduous effort. He was 
forced to exercise the most watchful care to make the business successful, but 
always he held to the ideals which he set up for himself and never did he 
abandon a plan which his judgment sanctioned as the wisest course to follow. 
A side light is thrown upon his personal character in the statement of one 
who knew him well: "Mr. Millikin became the richest man in Macon county, 
yet with most of us the first thought of the man, even after knowing him for 
years, was not that of a money-maker. He, of course, had to give much time 
to money-making, and yet he had much time to spare for something else. Those 
who met him in a social way were never bored by him by discussions on the 
art of acquiring wealth. He had something else to talk about and he talked 
well. Even at the bank, if you called to see him about a matter outside of 
the business of the house, he would sit down and talk for an hour and a half 
about anything and everything that had no possible connection with banking 
or money-making. He was indeed a most interesting companion." 

Others have characterized Mr. Millikin as "the greatest benefactor Decatur 
ever had." He gave more than a half million dollars during his lifetime to 
benefactions. His gifts to Millikin University approximate four hundred and 
forty thousand dollars, and the Anna B. Millikin home received property and 
cash aggregating forty thousand dollars, while the Young Men's Christian As- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 9 

sociation, the Young Women's Christian Association, and different churches 
were the recipients of large sums. His plan for a university took definite 
form when, on the 13th of May, 1900, he made a formal offer to Dr. W. J. 
Darby, secretary of the Educational Society of the Cumberland Presbyterian 
church in Decatur, and Rev. A. W. Hawkins, pastor of the Cumberland Pres- 
byterian church, to found an institution of learning in Decatur under the aus- 
pices of this denomination. It was while attending Jefferson College that he 
recognized the lack of facilities for higher education for the masses of young 
people, and resolved that some day, if he prospered, he would make provision 
to meet the need. It was in this way that he explained to President Roosevelt 
on the day of the dedication of the university the founding of the institution. 
He offered to donate Oakland Park as a site for the college and pay the sum 
of two hundred thousand dollars in cash provided the synods of Illinois, In- 
diana and Iowa of the Cumberland Presbyterian church would raise one hun- 
dred thousand and Decatur a similar amount for its support. On the 1st of 
January, 1901, he was notified that his conditions had been met. The work 
was vigorously prosecuted, and on the 1st of July, 1901, Dr. A. R. Taylor, for- 
merly of Kansas State Normal School, was installed president of the institu- 
tion. The buildings were dedicated June 4, 1903, with imposing ceremonies, 
the dedicatory address being delivered by President Theodore Roosevelt. Mr. 
Millikin was ever a most plain and unassuming man, who disliked notoriety, 
and even on the occasion of the laying of the corner stone of the main part 
of the university buildings, he refused to appear upon the platform, and after 
mingling quietly with the crowd for a few moments, he slipped away as quietly 
as he had come. The university, however, was the embodiment of a plan which 
he had long held and cherished, and he was greatly pleased over the surprising 
development of the school, not only in the structure of the buildings, but also 
in the equipment and exhibits of the technical and scientific departments. "In 
giving this institution of learning to the people James Millikin revealed the 
depth and breadth of his underlying benevolence. The university is a striking 
concrete proof of his spirit of philanthropy — philanthropy that partakes both 
of the individual and of the general." 

Mr. Millikin married Miss Anna B. Aston, a daughter of Rev. S. M. Aston, 
and their first home was the property at William and Edward streets, now known 
as the Bohon place. In 1862 the property at Pine and Main streets was pur- 
chased and the home, with the improvements that have been added, make it 
one of the finest residences of central Illinois. Mr. Millikin passed away on 
the 2d of March, 19x39, at the advanced age of eighty-two years. The Decatur 
Herald, in commenting upon him, said: "James Millikin possessed the breadth 
of vision that raised him above the men whose only claim to distinction is 
mere wealth. After he had acquired wealth, he looked about for ways in which 
to spend it. He saw much of his own country, and while foreign lands, which 
draw to their shores so many Americans, had little fascination for him, he 
kept his eyes open, and even in his declining years became a student of educa- 
tional matters." 

In the perspective of the years the work of James Millikin will grow larger 
rather than smaller. It is a well known fact that the people of mediocre ability 



10 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

are forgotten while those who are of real importance to the community come 
to their real place as factors in the upbuilding of the city. The life record of 
James Millikin, faultless in honor, fearless in conduct and stainless in reputa- 
tion, is indeed a most creditable chapter in the history of Decatur. 



JAMES WILLIAM CARTER. 

James William Carter, general manager of the Decatur Coal Company and 
prominently identified with the political and social life of the city, was born at 
Sullivan, Moultrie county, Illinois, June 5, 1861. He is a son of Charles A. and 
Polly Ann (Waggoner) Carter, who were both natives of Illinois. The parents 
came to Decatur in 1863, where the father engaged for a number of years in the 
hardware business. In 1890 he moved to Fresno, California, and remained 
there until his death, which occurred December 4, 1907. The mother and one 
daughter, Mrs. Nellie M. Severns, are still living at Fresno. 

The subject of this review received his education in the public schools of 
Decatur and after laying his books aside became clerk in a hardware store, 
continuing for about a year, then engaging as clerk and bookkeeper for Over- 
meyer & Kaufman, dealers in real estate. He next took charge of the Peter 
Loeb Foundry Company and then was with the Union Iron Works, but after 
three years with the latter firm returned to the foundry company, with which he 
remained for nine months. We next find him for about a year in Chicago with 
George D. Haworth, manufacturer of corn planters. However, our subject was 
again attracted to his old home and he accepted a position with B. Z. Taylor 
in the oil mill business, but after sixteen months resigned and in 1885 became 
identified as bookkeeper with the Decatur Coal Company. In this business 
he showed special aptitude and after an experience of eight years he purchased 
stock in the company and was made vice president, later being elected secretary 
and treasurer and then general manager, which position he now holds, as- 
sisting in an important degree in developing the business of the company. 

For many years Mr. Carter has been actively interested in political affairs. 
In 1895 he was elected alderman of the seventh ward and served for one term, 
filling the chairmanship of the water and light committee and discharging his 
duties with a fidelity that met the approval of citizens of all political parties. 
In 1904 he was appointed a member of the board of fire commissioners by 
Mayor George W. Lehman and served in that position for two years. His 
ability was further recognized in 1907, when he was elected city treasurer for a 
term of two years, and in that responsible position he made many new friends 
as a safe guardian of the city's finances and a public official with whom it was 
a pleasure to transact business. 

On June 28, 1882, Mr. Carter was united in marriage to Miss Idora J. 
Patterson, of Decatur. Three children have blessed the union: Ralph M., now 
a practicing physician of Green Bay, Wisconsin; Alma Lois; and Neil T., who 
died June 23, 1896, at two and one-half years of age. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 13 

Mr. Carter is actively identified with fraternal organizations and has been 
a member of Chevalier Bayard Lodge, No. 189, Knights of Pythias, since 
January 15, 1889. He has filled all the chairs in this lodge and was chairman 
of the local committee that secured the Pythian Home for Decatur. He is 
also a member of the state board that has charge of this home, which is one 
of the beneficent state institutions in which all Pythians of the city are inter- 
ested. He is a leading member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Macon 
Lodge, No. 8, and Beaumonoir Commandery, No. 9, and is past commander of 
the latter organization. He also holds membership in the Modern Woodmen of 
America and is a deacon of the First Baptist church of this city. A man of 
exceptional social qualities, Mr. Carter has many warm personal friends and 
he is recognized as a strong factor in political, religious and fraternal circles 
of the city. Whatever his hand or brain finds to do he does excellently, and 
few men in central Illinois have ever gained a higher position in the estimation 
of the people than the gentleman whose name stands at the head of this review. 



WILLIAM EDWARD NELSON. 

BY A. G. WEBBER. 

This "History of Decatur and Macon County," without a biographical sketch 
of the editor of this work would be like The Pentateuch without Moses. The 
life work of this kind old man is so intimately and so prominently related to and 
interwoven with the development and the historic events of this community 
that one would not be complete without the other. 

The father was of Irish and the mother of Scotch descent. A combination 
that has furnished this country with her most illustrious and substantial citizens. 
John Nelson, the grandfather, was born in Virginia. At an early age he was 
left an orphan, and when he grew to manhood he enlisted in the Revolutionary 
war. One of the last great battles in which he was engaged was the battle of 
King's Mountain in October, 1780. He emigrated to the state of Tennessee, 
where Richard Nelson, the father, was born. The latter studied law with 
Judge Hugh L. White and was married to Eliza McCampbell, the mother of 
William E. Nelson, who was born at Sparta, Tennessee, on the 4th of June, 
1824. His mother was daughter of Andrew McCampbell, who emigrated from 
Scotland to Virginia; served in the war of the Revolution and then removed to 
Knox county, Tennessee. 

Richard Nelson, the father, practiced his profession, the law, for more than 
twenty-five years at Sparta. He was a member of the Tennessee constitutional 
convention in 1834 and for a number of years was judge of the county court 
of Carroll county, Mississippi, to which county he removed in 1846, where he 
died in 1865. 

William E. Nelson was admitted to the bar at Sparta in 1844, and on 
February 26, 1846, was married to Mary Ann Snodgrass, the daughter of 
Colonel James Snodgrass, of White county, Tennessee. He practiced law in his 
native county for about ten years and early in the year 1857, with his young 
wife, full of hope and ambition for their future, came north and selected De- 



14 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

catur, then a thriving little city of about two thousand inhabitants, as their 
home. Mrs. Nelson died in November, 1876, and Mr. Nelson was again mar- 
ried to Mrs. Lucy Hollingsworth Montgomery, a daughter of Judge Jeptha 
G. Hollingsworth, of Elkton, Kentucky, and the widow of John T. Montgom- 
ery, Esq., of Decatur. 

Only one of Judge Nelson's children lived to attain majority, the late Theo- 
dore Nelson, who removed to Chicago some twenty odd years ago and died in 
that city, December 17, 1909. He was for a succession of terms secretary of 
the democratic state central committee and had perhaps the most extensive 
acquaintance of any man in Illinois. 

Judge Nelson found here in Decatur a most brilliant galaxy of lawyers, 
who practiced law at the Macon county bar. Such men as Charles Emmerson, 
Brower Bunn, Richard J. Oglesby, Sheridan Wait, Joel S. Post, the Tuppers 
and Arthur J. Gallagher. These distinguished lawyers frequently had asso- 
ciated with them in important litigations Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Doug- 
las, David Davis, Leonard Swett and other celebrated lawyers who then prac- 
ticed law at the Macon county bar. These men set high ideals and furnished 
a real inspiration to other members in their profession. 

The first railroads into this part of the country had just been built; land 
was everywhere being entered and settled up ; industrial and commercial en- 
terprises were projected and established; the busy echo of the saw and the 
trowel in all directions gave unmistakable evidence that a building boom was 
at high tide here, just before the panic of 1857. 

Amid these great business problems and perplexing legal questions, Mr. 
Nelson began his life work in Decatur. At that time an armful of law books 
constituted a good working library. It was a time which called forth the purest 
love of justice and the strongest common sense in the solution and settlement 
of the business transacted by lawyers. He found here the opportunity of his 
life, to prove his absolute integrity and his superior legal ability. He was rec- 
ognized by all who knew him for his uncompromising honesty and for his love 
of justice. He became the local attorney for the Toledo & Great Western 
Railroad, then of the Wabash and Illinois Central Railroads. 

In 1870 Governor John M. Palmer appointed Harvey B. Hurd, M. Shaffer 
and William E. Nelson, commissioners, to revise the laws of Illinois under 
the constitution of 1870. He was elected to the Twenty-seventh general as- 
sembly of the Illinois legislature. During this session many of the laws, the 
most important and far-reaching in the interest of the people, were enacted. 
The work of this commission was the forerunner and became the foundation 
for the general revision of all the laws in Illinois, contained in the Revised 
Statues of 1874. So well did this faithful public servant discharge his duty, 
that the people elected him judge of the circuit court for the fourth judicial 
circuit of Illinois in June, 1877. After the expiration of his term as circuit 
judge, he was, in the fall of 1886, elected judge of the county court of Macon 
county. 

Judge Nelson has been a lifelong democrat. At this time Macon county 
was overwhelmingly republican, and he had for his opponent one of the most 
popular young republican lawyers in Macon county. This gave the people of 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 15 

Macon county the opportunity to express their appreciation and approval of the 
public services rendered by Judge Nelson. That the people can always be 
trusted was proven by the election of William E. Nelson. 

Up to this time the county court was simply looked upon as a tribunal for 
the appeal of justice cases and for the probating of wills and the allowance of 
claims against estates. In this court Judge Nelson found a great field of work 
for his ripe judicial mind and for the care and conservation of the interests of 
those who are under disability. He inaugurated a new era in the practice in 
this court. A new system with clearly defined rules was established. Process 
was issued, juries impaneled, pleading rules published, days of trial fixed, and 
order of procedure observed, which gave dignity and orderly procedure, and 
commanded the attention and respect of the Macon county bar. 

In this court, all estates are administered and settled. Widows, orphans, 
and all persons under legal disability have their rights determined there. All 
special assessments are submitted for hearing and confirmation in this court. 
It is a common law court of limited jurisdiction, to which misdemeanors are 
certified down and common law cases are appealed up to this court. In short, 
it is the "people's court." It was here where Judge Nelson became the judicial 
father of widows and orphans and the unwavering friend of the unfortunate 
and friendless. 

After presiding in this court four years, the people of Macon county regard- 
less of politics again demanded the reelection of Judge Nelson to the office of 
county judge in 1890. This was probably the greatest political triumph in the life 
of Judge Nelson. The democratic ticket was defeated by over one thousand 
votes, but the people demonstrated their gratitude by reelecting this public ser- 
vant again by a handsome majority. Everybody said that no other man could 
have been elected on the democratic ticket at that time. 

For real and genuine politeness, Judge Nelson has always stood high in 
Macon county. He is in a class of his own and no man has dared to question 
or to dispute his right to this claim. No one can truthfully question the hon- 
orable intentions and the absolute honesty of William E. Nelson. During 
more than half a century his life has been an open record to this community. 
As a lawyer, he was always loyal and true to his clients. In the capacity of a 
legislator and as a judge his official life has always been pure and above suspicion. 
If there is such a thing as a man being too good and too liberal to others, the 
life-work of Judge Nelson is the proof. 

When he came here everybody was struggling for an existence ; and he 
always thought of the welfare of others and maintained an abiding faith that 
somehow or other He who knows all things would take care of him. It has 
been well known by other members of the bar that Judge Nelson never charged 
a fee large enough for his services because he felt that it might be too large for 
his client. In this way he transacted a large amount of business for a small 
remuneration. He was liberal to a fault. This is one reason why Judge Nelson 
did not amass a great fortune from the practice of law. He earned several 
of them. The people of Macon county owe to Judge Nelson a great debt of 
gratitude for his exemplary life of unselfishness as a lawyer. 



16 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

This great commoner of the people, like a majestic oak has been a moral 
strength in this community. God has set His seal of approval upon this life by 
making it one of the richest and happiest lives in Macon county. The world 
has been made purer, nobler and better by it. He has indeed been a true bene- 
diction by his uniform friendship and loyalty to the young lawyer and by his 
advice and counsel to those under disability or in misfortune. The publishers 
of this "History of Decatur and Macon County" are to be congratulated for 
their wisdom and good fortune in securing the services of so eminent and 
competent a man to supervise the excellent history here presented. 



JOHN L. WADDELL. 



John L. Waddell, justice of the peace of Decatur, whose decisions, strictly 
fair and impartial, have "won golden opinions from all sorts of people" was 
born at Chestnut, in Logan county, Illinois, a son of Clarence L. and Harriet 
E. (Simpson) Waddell. He comes of English lineage on the paternal side and 
of Irish ancestry on the maternal. His father devoted many years to farming 
and then retired to enjoy the fruits of his former toil. He is a native of Logan 
county, Illinois, while his wife was born in St. Clair county, this state. 

John L. Waddell acquired his early education in the schools of Mount Pu- 
laski and in the Decatur high school, in which he took the work of the senior 
year. He was graduated in 1900 and was chosen class orator, as he was also 
upon his graduation from the grammar school. Determining upon the prac- 
tice of law as his life work, he began reading in the office and under the direc- 
tion of the firm of Mills Brothers, well known attorneys of Decatur. His 
studies, however, were largely planned by I. R. Mills, who at that time was state's 
attorney. In further preparation for the profession Mr. Waddell matriculated 
in the law department of the State University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, 
being admitted to the junior class. Illness, however, compelled him to abandon 
his studies during the last half of the semester. This was in the fall of 1902. 
When he recovered his health he entered the Wesleyan University at Bloom- 
ington, Illinois, where he resumed his interrupted law course and was there 
graduated with the class of 1903. He was also elected class orator in that 
institution. In January prior to his graduation he secured a position in the 
billing department of the Mueller Manufacturing Company and subsequently 
held several clerical positions. After his second year with that firm he was 
made head of the law and patent department and continued with the Mueller 
Manufacturing Company until the 1st of May, 1909, when he resigned to enter 
actively in the field of politics. He is the youngest man ever elected to the posi- 
tion of justice of the peace in Macon county. He opened his court in the 
fire district over Shade's shoe store, which was totally destroyed by fire on the 
22d of August, 1909. He then opened a temporary office in the St. Nicholas 
Hotel but within ten days secured an office on the south side of East Main street, 
almost opposite his present location. On the 1st of August, 19 10, he removed 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 17 

into the Busher building over Shade's shoe store, where he has a well equipped 
office and court room. His decisions show thorough consideration of the ques- 
tions which come up for settlement and correct application of legal principles 
to the points at issue. 

On the 17th of November, 1906, Mr. Waddell was married to Miss Helen 
G. Shuff, of Morgan county, Illinois, a daughter of Oliver S. and Mary (John- 
son) Shuff. They have a bright little son, John L. Jr.,, who was born May 26, 
1910. Mr. Waddell holds membership with Ionic Lodge, No. 312, A. F. & A. M. ; 
the Elks Lodge, No. 401 ; the Tribe of Ben Hur, and the Improved Order of 
Red Men. His religious faith is indicated in his membership in the First Bap- 
tist church. 

His interests are wide and varied and his support can always be counted 
upon to further progressive movements tending to promote the material, in- 
tellectual and moral progress of the community. His work in office is giving 
entire satisfaction by reason of the fairness and impartiality of his decisions, 
and although the youngest justice Macon county has ever had, his record for 
efficiency and ability is equal to that of any who has held the position. 



HERBERT C. JONES, M. D. 

Dr. Herbert C. Jones, who in the practice of his profession is giving especial 
attention to diseases of women and children, was born in Athens, Ohio, Jan- 
uary 7, 1855, a son of J. Lindley and Ellen (Cameron) Jones, the former a na- 
tive of Athens, Ohio, while the latter was born in the Shenandoah valley in Vir- 
ginia. The father followed the pursuit of school-teaching in his native state 
in early manhood and later engaged in merchandising in Athens and in Green- 
field, Ohio, but at the time of the Civil war put aside business considerations 
to become a member of the Union army and went with Sherman as far as 
Atlanta. 

Reared in the state of his nativity, Herbert C. Jones continued his education 
in the public schools until graduated from high school at Greenfield, Ohio, 
with the class of 187 1. He afterward attended the Ohio University at Athens, 
and later entered the Medical College of Ohio, from which he was graduated 
with the class of 1876. After completing the course he engaged in the drug 
business at Jacksonville and at Sanford, Florida. 

While in the former city he was married, on the 3d of September, 1879, 
to Miss Florence Correa. They began their domestic life in the south but in 
1881 returned northward, establishing their home in Cerro Gordo, Illinois, where 
Dr. Jones entered into partnership with Dr. Harsha for the practice of medicine. 
This relation was maintained until the latter's removal to Decatur, after which 
Dr. Jones continued alone in practice in Cerro Gordo until the fall of 1887, 
when, on account of the failing health of his wife, he returned to Florida and 
there spent two years. On the expiration of that period he opened an office 
in Decatur, forming a partnership with Dr. Catto, which continued for five 



8 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

years. Actuated by a desire to attain the highest degree of proficiency possible, 
he has from time to time resumed his studies, having taken post-graduate work 
in the Rush Medical College in 1883, while at all times he has kept in touch 
with the onward march of the profession through his perusal of medical litera- 
ture. He was for two years a partner in practice with Dr. W. J. Chenoweth 
under the firm style of Chenoweth & Jones. He has been local surgeon for the 
Vandalia Railroad Company for fifteen years and was associated with his for- 
mer partner, Dr. Chenoweth, as surgeon for the Illinois Central Railroad and 
for the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Railroad. While in Florida he was ap- 
pointed assistant surgeon of the South Florida Railroad in 1887. He has been 
particularly successful in his treatment of diseases of children, and his obstet- 
rical work has draw^i to him the favorable attention of the public. He belongs 
to the American Medical Association, the Illinois State Medical Society, the 
Central District Medical Society and is an ex-president of the Decatur Medi- 
cal Society. 

In his fraternal relations Dr. Jones is a Mason and served as master of the 
blue lodge at Cerro Gordo, Illinois, and once as master of the lodge with which 
he affiliated while in Florida. He has attained high rank in Masonry and is 
now a noble of Medinah Temple of the Mystic Shrine in America. He also 
belongs to the Decatur Club and Country Club and enjoys the warm friendship 
of many of the members. 



JOHN F. MATTES. 



John F. Mattes occupies a central place on the stage of business activity in 
Decatur, where his intelligently directed efforts have found constantly broad- 
ening scope in the establishment and management of industrial and commercial 
enterprises which have been an element in the city's upbuilding as well as a 
source of individual success. A native son of Decatur, Mr. Mattes was born 
August 24, 1861, of the marriage of Frederick and Agnes (Luapold) Mattes, 
both of whom were natives of Germany and came to this country in early man- 
hood and womanhood. The father spent some time in the east ere taking up 
his abode in Decatur. It was in this city that he formed the acquaintance of 
Miss Luapold and their friendship, ripening into love, was consummated in 
marriage. They have since resided continuously in this city save for a brief 
period of five years spent upon a farm not far distant. Mr. Mattes is still 
hale and hearty at the age of eighty-one years but in 1908 was called upon to 
mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away in April. He was one of the 
pioneer brick manufacturers of Decatur and early in the '60s was associated 
with Conrad Ammen in brickmaking. He continued in that field of business 
until eight years ago, when he retired, since which time he has spent his days 
in the enjoyment of well earned rest, the fruits of his former toil supplying 
him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. 

No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of life for 
John F. Mattes in his youthful days. At the usual age he entered the public 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 19 

schools and with zest entered into the pleasures of the playground as well as 
the duties of the schoolroom. His business training was received under the 
direction of his father, who instructed him in the methods of manufacturing 
brick and for many years the father and his two sons, John F. and Edward, 
were associated in business under the firm name of the Mattes Brick Com- 
pany. At length the father retired, as previously stated, and the two sons now 
carry on the business. In 1900 the enterprise was incorporated and merged 
into the Decatur Brick Company, at which time John F. Mattes was elected 
president of the new organization, while Edward Mattes became its general 
manager. The company manufacture a mottled facing brick, which is a vitrified 
brick of very superior quality and the output is such as to make this one of the 
most important productive industries of the city. Brickmaking, however, has 
by no means constituted the scope of the business efforts and activity of John 
F. Mattes, a man of resourceful ability whose labors have constituted a benefi- 
cent force in the material progress of Decatur as well as a source of indiv- 
idual success. He was one of the promoters of the Manufacturers & Consum- 
ers Coal Company, which sank three shafts. The work through that time, how- 
ever, was unsuccessful, as water stopped further proceedings. Much money 
was invested, therefore, before returns were received. In 1903 a shaft was 
put in south of the city and operations were begun, since which time a large 
amount of coal has been taken out and the business has since proved a profitable 
and growing undertaking. Mr. Mattes has served as one of the directors and 
as vice president of the company since its organization. He was for fifteen years 
a member of the firm of S. A. Tuttle & Company, engaging in street paving 
and sewer construction work, and in that connection executed important con- 
tracts. Into the field of real estate he has extended his operations on a large 
scale, handling all his own property. He has now three additions, known as 
the F. Mattes addition, the J. F. Mattes addition and the Lincoln Park addi- 
tion, and in the development of these properties for the real-estate market he 
is contributing in substantial measure to the growth and improvement of De- 
catur. He is one of the city's most prominent and best known business men, 
his efforts at all times being actuated by a spirit of enterprise that knows no 
such word as fail and that regards an obstacle only as an impetus for renewed 
effort. 

In 1884 Mr. Mattes was married to Miss Louise Johns, of Decatur, who 
died in 1886, leaving an only son, Carleton, who is now engaged in the printing 
business in this city. In 1890 Mr. Mattes wedded Miss Anna Roeder, of St. 
Louis, Missouri, and their children are Arthur, Violet, Adaline and Bernice. 

The parents hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, in which 
Mr. Mattes is serving as a trustee. He is a republican in his political views 
but not to the extent of being bound by party ties. His support of any measure 
or candidate must have the sanction of his judgment and his judgment rests 
upon a public-spirited devotion to the general good. He is a member of several 
beneficial orders and is one of the prominent Masons of Decatur, having taken 
the various degrees of the York and Scottish Rites, while in the various bodies 
he has held office. He has likewise crossed the sands of the desert with the 
noble? of the Mystic Shrine. Engaging social qualities have rendered him a 



20 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

popular citizen, while his extensive business interests have made him a promi- 
nent and representative one of Decatur. His record is written in the tangible 
terms of success and his prosperity has been the legitimate and logical result 
of his own labors, never including the sacrifice of another's interests. 



ORVILLE B. GORIN. 



It has been said that fortunate is the man who has back of him an ancestry- 
honorable and distinguished, and happy is he if his lines of life are cast in har- 
mony therewith. In person, in appearance and in character Orville B. Gorin is 
a worthy scion of his race. The family name has long been closely associated 
with financial interests in Macon county, and none have labored more faithfully 
to promote the stability of banking interests, and thus safeguard the welfare 
of depositors, than has Orville B. Borin, now president of the Millikin Bank. 
From the age of four years he has lived in Decatur, and throughout the inter- 
vening period his labors have constituted a force in the development of the city, 
while his name has been an influencing factor in securing support for any cause 
which he has espoused. 

Mr. Gorin was born in Taylorville, Christian county, Illinois, January 25, 
1849. His parents were Jerome R. and Eleanor E. (Fawcett) Gorin, of whom 
extended mention is made elsewhere in this volume. The son, Orville Gorin, 
was but four years of age when they removed to Decatur, and in this city he 
has since made his home. Like most boys of the period, he devoted much of his 
youth to the acquirement of an education, continuing his studies here until he 
had prepared for collegiate work. He then entered Knox College at Galesburg, 
Illinois, devoting some time to the further mastery of a course in that institu- 
tion. He returned to Decatur and throughout his business career has been con- 
nected with the Millikin Bank. When he entered into active relations therewith 
it was conducted under the firm style of James Millikin & Company. Fifteen 
years served not only to secure him various promotions but also to bring him 
into the partnership, for he became financially interested in the business in 1880. 
The bank was established by James Millikin and the firm name of J. Millikin 
& Company was adopted in 1866, at which time Jerome R. Gorin became a part- 
ner. In 1880 he sold his interest to his son, Orville B. Gorin, and to Milton 
Johnson, the latter later disposing of his interest to Parke Hammer. In Octo- 
ber, 1897, the bank was incorporated as the Millikin National Bank, with James 
Millikin as president, Orville B. Gorin, cashier; and J. M. Brownback, assistant 
cashier, the latter having been admitted to a partnership in 1896. In 1898 Mr. 
Gorin became vice president of the institution and in 1909 was elected to the 
presidency. He is thus today at the head of one of the oldest and strongest 
financial institution of this part of the state, the success of which is attributable 
in no small measure to his efforts, for through forty-five years he has been 
connected with the bank and during the entire period has endeavored to bring 
the institution up to the highest standard and to introduce every progressive 




uJJ&^ 






HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 23 

measure that promotes the interest of the bank and at the same time safeguards 
the interests of the depositors. 

In the Decatur Daily Herald appeared the following: "During the entire 
career of the Millikin National Bank it has demonstrated beyond a doubt that 
it is ably managed and that its affairs are in the hands of time-tried men who 
weigh well every act and who depart not from the well trodden path of finan- 
cial safety. All investments are most carefully made and no unnecessary risks 
are taken, hence the marked favor it enjoys at the hands of many of the most 
conservative depositors. It does a general banking business, loans money on 
approved commercial paper, issues foreign and domestic exchanges and receives 
the deposits of the manufacturer, merchant, farmer and general depositor. 
Since its organization the bank has pursued the way of legitimate and conserva- 
tive business, its able management avoiding the dangerous shoals upon which 
many banks have foundered, and today the Millikin National bank stands as 
solid and firm in the financial world as the most timid and skeptical depositor 
could possibly desire. It has been held high in the people's estimation for these 
years because of the unquestionable character of the men at its head and the 
sufficiency of the capital behind it. There is not an officer or director in this 
bank in whom the people have not the utmost confidence, and as a natural re- 
sult it has always enjoyed a large patronage. This bank is a United States 
depository. Its present deposits are about three million dollars and loans and 
discounts are two millions, two hundred thousand. Its correspondent banks are 
the Hanover National Bank and the Winslow, Lanier & Company Bank of New 
York ; Merchants Loan & Trust and First National Banks of Chicago ; National 
Bank of Commerce, St. Louis; Merchants National Bank, Philadelphia; Mer- 
chants National Bank, Cincinnati; besides connections with leading banking 
houses throughout the United States." 

While Mr. Gorin is preeminently a banker and business man, he has never 
allowed close attention to business to dwarf his finer sensibilities or warp his 
kindly nature. He is in full sympathy with the principles of the Masonic fra- 
ternity and holds membership in Macon Lodge, No. 8, A. F. & A. M., and Beau- 
monoir Commandery, No. 9, K. T. 

He laid the foundation for a happy home life by his marriage, in 1872, to 
Miss Ella McClellan, a daughter of Edminston McClellan, a prominent and in- 
fluential citizen of Decatur, who for twenty-eight years filled the office of 
county clerk of Macon county. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gorin has been born a daugh- 
ter, Gussie J., who has made extensive trips abroad with her parents, visiting 
many points of interest in the old world as well as in the new. Theirs is one 
of the fine homes of Decatur and its hospitality makes it one of the favorite re- 
sorts of their many friends. 

A contemporary biographer has said: "Not to know Orville B. Gorin in 
Decatur is to argue one's self unknown, for his connection with business and 
social interests has been so extended that he stands today as one of the most 
prominent men of the city. His interest in his fellow men is sincere and arises 
from a humanitarian spirit which has prompted his support and cooperation 
with many movements and enterprises for the general good. He might perhaps 
have won high political honor, but he has always preferred to devote his ener- 



24 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

gies to his extensive business interests and has been instrumental in winning 
for the Millikin National Bank a reputation which extends beyond the limits 
of the state. His career has ever been such as to warrant the trust and con- 
fidence of the business world and his activity in financial circles forms no un- 
important chapter in the history of Decatur." 



JAMES J. MORAN. 



Some men are born with an aptitude for business and obstacles serve only 
to whet their ambition. They succeed in spite of difficulties and, starting at the 
bottom of the ladder, they climb to the top. As they advance their vision widens, 
their ability increases and they gain the title of captains of industry or leaders 
in the business world. They are the men who set the pace for their slower- 
going brethren and add vitality and spice to the ordinary affairs of life. To this 
class belongs James J. Moran, prominent as an undertaker, whose name is 
known among men in the same line of business all over the country. 

Mr. Moran was born in Jersey City, October 2, 1868, and is a son of Mark 
W. and Mary (Doyle) Moran. On both sides of the house he is of Irish an- 
cestry, the mother having been born in Ireland and the father in Scranton, Penn- 
sylvania, of parents who came from the Emerald isle. Mark W. Moran from 
seven years of age has been identified with coal mining. He began as a breaker 
boy in the mines of Pennsylvania, passing through the various stages of advance- 
ment, and for forty years has been superintendent of the Decatur Coal Com- 
pany's mines. He came to this city upon the invitation of the company, in 
1870, as they desired him to superintend the sinking of a shaft in a coal mine, 
and he has ever since his arrival served in the capacity of superintendent. 

The subject of this review attended the convent schools for several years 
and at the age of twelve years began his business career by working in a coal 
mine. After four years' experience under ground, he entered a grocery store 
in the city, his father buying a half-interest in the business after two years. 
Three years later the interest was disposed of and our subject gained his first 
experience in the undertaking business under John A. Reeves, driving a hearse 
at seven dollars and a half a week. Six months later his wages were raised to 
ten dollars per week and after he had still further demonstrated his qualifica- 
tions he received fifteen dollars per week and also was given fifteen per cent on 
business secured. The name of the firm became Wykoff & Reeves and five years 
later Mr. Moran purchased the interest of Mr. Reeves, becoming sole owner of 
the business in 1892, although it was necessary for him at the time to borrow 
fifty-five hundred dollars from the bank in order to consummate the purchase. 
When Mr. Moran assumed charge he had only one employe upon the pay roll 
and his salary was ten dollars per week. To show the condition of our subject's 
finances, it may be stated that at the close of his first week's operations he 
found it necessary to borrow six dollar in order to meet the pay roll. Today 
he is one of the substantial moneyed men of Decatur, a stockholder of the 
Citizens National Bank, one of its large property owners and an acknowledged 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 25 

leader in the National Funeral Directors Association. The present happy con- 
dition of Mr. Moran's affairs presents a striking contrast with the condition of 
fifteen or twenty years ago when he was struggling to secure a footing among 
business men in the community. Having once made a start, he pushed rapidly 
to the front. The territory of his operations is not confined to Decatur but 
extends as far as thirty miles in all directions from the city. For years past he 
has had charge of a number of the largest funerals in this part of the state 
and as a funeral conductor it is doubtful whether he has a superior in Illinois. 

On September 17, 1891, Mr. Moran was united in marriage to Miss Katie 
A. Leahy, of Decatur, who became an efficient undertaker herself and assists 
her husband when there is call for a woman's services. Five children have been 
born of the union: Louis, now connected with the Citizens National Bank; 
Linus ; Ambrose ; Imelda ; and James J., Jr. 

Mr. Moran is identified with the republican party and an active worker in 
its cause in Decatur and Macon county. His religious belief is indicated by his 
membership in the Catholic church and fraternally he is connected with a num- 
ber of beneficiary organizations. He has attained his success by an innate ability 
and an adaptation to a calling that requires tact and judgment, with both of 
which qulities he is abundantly supplied. His vocation also demands pleasing 
manners and business sagacity. In these respects also Mr. Moran excels. That 
he is popular throughout a wide region in Illinois is attested by the frequency 
with which his name is heard. Of a generous and sympathetic disposition, he 
has made a host of friends whom he truly cherishes and it requires no prophet 
to declare that the subject of this review will long continue to be a prime fa- 
vorite in Decatur and Macon county. 



PETER COFER. 



Peter Cofer, residing at No. 412 East Condit street in Decatur, merits and 
receives the respect of his fellow townsmen. Loyal and courageous in the time 
of the nation's internal strife, energetic and progressive in the subsequent peace- 
ful period, he has won for himself a creditable position among the residents of 
Macon county. He was born in Oberplace, Germany, on the 24th of August, 
1837. His father, also a native of that country, was a farmer by occupation and 
remained in Germany until called to his final rest. The mother, who bore 
the maiden name of Margaret Holt, also spent her entire life in Germany. 
Of their family only two are now living, the sister of our subject being Marie, 
who still remains in the fatherland. 

Peter Cofer was educated in the schools of Germany and remained upon his 
father's farm until twenty years of age, when he determined to seek a home 
and fortune in the United States and* crossed the Atlantic to the new world. 
He made his way to Milwaukee, where he was employed at various occupations 
and afterward spent two years in Chicago. He then removed to Sullivan, Illi- 
nois, where he resided until 1898, when he came to Decatur and here has since 
lived. 



26 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Mr. Cofer was a resident of Sullivan at the time of the outbreak of the 
Civil war. He had watched with interest the progress of events in the south 
and when Fort Sumter was fired upon his patriotic spirit was aroused and he 
enlisted as a member of Company E, Twenty-first Illinois Infantry, on the 25th 
of May, 1861. The company was commanded by Captain Love. He served for 
three years and reenlisted as a veteran, becoming a member of the same com- 
pany and regiment, with which he served until the close of the war, being mus- 
tered out at San Antonio, Texas, on the 16th of December, 1865. He received 
his final discharge at Camp Butler, Illinois, January 25, 1866. He had been for 
more than four years a faithful defender of the Union cause and had partici- 
pated in various important engagements, including the battles of Perryville, 
Fredericksburg, Stone River, Chickamauga, the siege of Corinth, the Atlanta 
campaign, Kenesaw Mountain, the siege of Atlanta, Jonesboro, Franklin, Nash- 
ville and many skirmishes. On one occasion he was struck by a spent ball 
but otherwise escaped injury and at all times his military career was charac- 
terized by the utmost fidelity to duty, to which he never wavered though it 
stationed him on the firing line or upon the lonely picket line. 

In September, 1866, Mr. Cofer was united in marriage to Miss Carolina 
Sawyer, who was born in Kentucky, April 7, 1843. Her parents were also na- 
tives of Kentucky, removing thence to Sullivan, Illinois, where the father died. 
The mother afterward became a resident of Decatur, where her death oc- 
curred. It was in this city that Mrs. Cofer passed away on the 22d of Sep- 
tember, 1907. In the family were seven children. John F., who was born at 
Sullivan, January 30, 1868, is now in Canada. He married Ida Bowler, of 
Emden, and they had eight children: George, Ralph, Blanche, Glenn, Elven, 
Arthur and Amelia, all of whom are living; and Earl, who has passed away. 
Laura M., born May 2, 1873, in Sullivan, was married April 28, 1895, to Lincoln 
Powell, of Arthur, Illinois, who was born November 27, 1860, and died June 
14, 1902. They were the parents of two children: Eva, born February 6, 
1896, at Arthur; and Buell, born May 16, 1899, at Arthur. Charley, the third 
member of the family, was born at Sullivan, June 22, 1874, and married Nellie 
Hewett, of Lovington, Illinois. They have three children — Helen, Mildred and 
Hewett — and the family home is at Duquoin, Illinois. Frank, born at Sullivan, 
March 10, 1885, is living in Omaha, Nebraska. Omar C, born in Sullivan, 
March 17, 1888, resides in Jerome, Idaho. 

For the support of his family Mr. Cofer long followed the occupation of 
farming and his labors were practical and progressive, bringing him in time 
a comfortable competence that now enables him to live retired. He is a mem- 
ber of Ionia Lodge, No. 312, A. F. & A. M., and of Dunham Post, No. 141, 
G. A. R. He also holds membership in the Cumberland Presbyterian church, 
while his children are members of the Central Christian church of Decatur. 
His political allegiance has ever been given to the republican party since he 
became a naturalized American citizen. During the period of his residence in 
Moultrie county he was for four years bailiff and also served as school director. 
Otherwise he has held no offices, preferring to concentrate his time and energies 
upon his business affairs. He is a man of good judgment and of enterprising 
spirit and his interest in the welfare and progress of his community has been 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 27 

manifest in many tangible ways. As a soldier of the Civil war the country owes 
to him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid and in matters of citizen- 
ship he has been as loyal to the country in times of peace as when he followed 
the old flag upon southern battlefields. 



FREDERICK J. DUDLEY, M. D. 

Dr. Frederick J. Dudley, practicing medicine and surgery in Decatur, where 
his ability is accorded recognition in a large patronage, was born in Niagara 
county, New York, in January, 1858. His father, John A. Dudley, is a native 
of Guilford, Connecticut, and has devoted much of his life to stock-raising. He 
is now in his eighty-third year and makes his home in Whitewater, Wisconsin. 
His wife, who bore the maiden name of Henrietta M. Wright, was born in the 
Empire state about 1830. They were the parents of five sons, of whom one died 
in infancy. One son became a prominent attorney of the state of Washington, 
where he died when about twenty-seven years of age. Three of the number are 
still living: I. W., who is engaged in railroad business; Dr. Dudley, of this 
review; and Frank A. Dudley, who has been interested in the building of large 
hotels in Peoria, Illinois, Syracuse, New York, and other places. He is also the 
senior member of the firm of Dudley, Grey & Noonan, leading attorneys of 
Niagara Falls. 

At the age of ten years Dr. Dudley accompanied his parents on their re- 
moval westward to Whitewater, Wisconsin. He was reared upon the home 
farm and early formed habits of industry and integrity because of the lessons 
strongly impressed upon his mind by his parents. He supplemented his early 
education acquired in the public schools by study in Milton College, a school 
conducted by the Adventists at Milton, Wisconsin. As a youth he was inter- 
ested in medicine but the opportunity to study did not come to him immediately 
following the completion of his literary course. Financial conditions in the 
family made it imperative that he provide the funds for his college training. 
He therefore learned shorthand, afterward engaged in teaching stenography 
and also served as an amanuensis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He likewise acted 
as under-court reporter and through these avenues acquired a sum sufficient 
to enable him to take up the study of medicine which he pursued in the Chicago 
Homeopathic Medical College. He was graduated with the class of 1894 and 
immediately thereafter began practice in Cerro Gordo, Illinois, and was a lead- 
ing practitioner in Piatt county until 1909, when he came to Decatur. Although 
he is one of the more recent additions to the medical fraternity of this city he 
has, nevertheless, established himself as a capable and successful representative 
of the profession here. His methods have ever been progressive and he keeps in 
touch with the advanced thought of the profession. He purchased the first 
automobile in Piatt county and was the first in that county to use it in practice. 
He has had four different cars, the original one being an Oldsmobile, while at 
the present time he drives a Mitchell. He has been examining physician for a 
number of lodges, also for the Peoria Life Insurance Company, of which he 



28 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

is a stockholder. He is likewise a director of the Cerro Gordo State Bank and 
possesses excellent business qualifications as well as professional skill. 

Dr. Dudley married Miss Nellie Knapp, a native of Wisconsin, and they 
have two children : Ethel, now the wife of Leonard Wise, of Rocky Ford, Colo- 
rado; and Erwin, a student in Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago. The 
son is a graduate of the high school of Cerro Gordo, Illinois, also attended St. 
John's Military School for two years and has pursued a two years' course in the 
Millikin University of Decatur. He is now a junior in Hahnemann. 

Dr. Dudley belongs to the Elks lodge at Decatur and the Odd Fellows lodge 
and Modern Woodmen camp at Cerro Gordo. He is also connected with the 
Loyal Americans and the Court of Honor at Cerro Gordo and he attends the 
Grace Methodist Episcopal church. His has been an active life and in his pro- 
fession he has been actuated by high ideals, performing every duty with a sense 
of conscientious obligation. He deserves much credit for what he has accom- 
plished as he started in life empty-handed and is a self-educated as well as a 
self-made man. He now belongs to the Illinois Homeopathic Society and the 
American Institute of Homeopathy, the national organization of this school 
and American Medical Association and Decatur Medical society. His ability 
is pronounced and his service has been of marked value to the communities 
in which he has resided. 



T. J. PRENTICE. 



T. J. Prentice, well trained in commercial fields, is now president of the Linn 
& Scruggs Dry Goods & Carpet Company of Decatur, in which connection he 
is at the head of the leading establishment of this character in the city. His 
birth occurred in Hamilton, Missouri, April 10, 1870, and his education was 
acquired in the public schools of that city and in a business college at Gales- 
burg, Illinois. He entered business life in the capacity of assistant cashier in 
the First National Bank of Hamilton, Missouri, where he remained until 1895, 
when he went to St. Louis, entering the house of Scruggs, Vandervoort & Bar- 
ney, the leading dry-goods establishment of that city. He entered their service 
as bookkeeper and worked his way upward through intermediate positions, in- 
volving larger and larger responsibilities, until he became secretary of this im- 
portant company. He was associated therewith until 1908. He assisted in 
organizing and arranging everything in the new building in St. Louis before 
coming to Decatur. On the 1st of January, 1907, however, in connection with 
J. R. Holt, he purchased the stock and business of the Linn & Scruggs store in 
Decatur and has since continued the business under the old firm name. The 
trade has increased to a considerable extent under the present management and 
they have continued the old reliable business principles of the house which has 
ever been based upon such old and time tried maxims as "there is no excellence 
without labor" and "honesty is the best policy." Mr. Prentice keeps in close 
touch with the trade, follows the most systematic methods in the conduct of the 
business and ever maintains a high standard in the personnel of the house, in 
the quality of goods carried and in the nature of the service rendered the public. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 29 

On the 13th of September, 1892, occurred the marriage of Mr. Prentice and 
Miss Minnie B. Johnson, of Hamilton, Missouri, and they have one son, Thomas 
J., Jr. Mr. Prentice is a member of the First Methodist Episcopal church 
and also belongs to the Decatur and Country Clubs. 

His interests are broad and varied and in relation to the public welfare he 
stands as the champion of material, social, intellectual and moral progress. In 
business circles he enjoys the unqualified esteem of colleagues and contem- 
poraries by reason of his progressive methods and his conformity to the highest 
standards of commercial ethics. 



RICHARD LOUIS EVANS. 

Among the names that deserve an honorable place in the history of Macon 
county is that of Richard Louis Evans, who was a valiant defender of the stars 
and stripes when the Union was in danger and as a business man and later as 
first librarian of the Decatur public library he demonstrated his ability to per- 
form his part in times of peace. He was born at New Albany, Indiana, May 
30, 1838, and was a son of John and Eliza (Clark) Evans, the father being 
a shipbuilder at New Albany. 

The subject of this review received his preliminary education in the public 
schools and became a student at Asbury (now De Pauw) University, Green- 
castle, Indiana, from which he was graduated in 1859, at twenty-one years of 
age. Soon after his graduation he entered the United States naval ser- 
vice, with which he was identified for four years and four months, receiving his 
honorable discharge August 14, 1865. He was acting master's mate on the 
United States steamship Benton of the Mississippi squadron and later was as- 
signed to the gunboat Abeona, where he remained until the boat was put out of 
commission with the close of the war at the navy yard at Mound City, Illinois. 

At the close of the war Mr. Evans came to Decatur and was for several 
years salesman in the dry-goods store of A. Ruth, who conducted business on 
Merchant street. He next entered the railway postal service and for three years 
filled the position of postal clerk, running between Bloomington and Centralia, 
Illinois. We next find him connected with the book and stationery store of W. 
Scott Glore, of Louisville, Kentucky, but in 1874 he returned to Decatur and 
on August 6, 1875, was chosen the first librarian of the Decatur public library 
and immediately assumed the duties, for which he was remarkably well quali- 
fied. He had charge of the library and reading room until the time of his death, 
which occurred November 17, 1881, and through his able management the library 
became the most popular institution in the city. 

On May 22, 1867, Mr. Evans was united in marriage at Decatur to Miss 
Alice E. Glore, a daughter of Millburn and Sarah (Clark) Glore. Her father, 
who was a native of Virginia, went to Kentucky when a boy and became a mer- 
chant at Brownsborough, where he married Miss Sarah Clark, of that place. 
They came to Decatur with their family in 1858, and were the parents of 
eleven children, of whom Alice E. was the ninth in order of birth. She was 



30 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

educated in the public and private schools of Decatur, and when her husband 
was appointed librarian she became his assistant. Upon his death she was 
elected librarian and has since occupied that position. Under her able manage- 
ment the library has grown steadily in all directions and meets the demands of 
a constantly increasing population. 

Although Mr. Evans passed from mortal view nearly thirty years ago, his 
memory is warmly cherished by those who knew him. He left an enduring 
monument by his efficient services as librarian, establishing the system upon 
which the library has since been conducted, making it one of the most useful 
institutions of the kind in central Illinois. Politically Mr. Evans adhered to 
the republican party. He was a valued member of the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and also of the Christian church, in which he served in an official 
capacity and as teacher in the Sunday school. In his life he manifested many 
noble traits of character that gained for him the confidence and esteem of all 
with whom he was associated. 



CHARLES N. DENISON, M. D. 

Dr. Charles N. Denison was well known in Macon county throughout the 
years of his residence in Argenta and in Decatur. Through his professional 
service as well as in other relations of life, he gained a wide acquaintance and 
was the loved family physician in many households. He held to high ideals in 
his practice and ever made it a point to keep in touch with the advancement of 
the profession. In his later years his attention was given to general agricul- 
tural pursuits and in that field of business he displayed the same reliability, en- 
terprise and integrity that characterized him in his professional life. Then 
came a period in which to enjoy the fruits of his former toil and at length he 
was called to his final home, his passing being deeply regretted by his many 
friends throughout the county. He was born in Middlesex County, Connecti- 
cut, September 15, 1836, and there lived to the age of eighteen years. On leav- 
ing New England, he at once made his way westward to Illinois, settling first 
at Bloomington, while subsequently he came to Macon county and for a few 
years was engaged in teaching school here. He took up the study of medicine 
under Dr. W. J. Chenoweth, one of the well known physicians of Decatur, and 
afterward pursued a two years' course at the College of Medicine and Surgery 
in Cincinnati, thus becoming well qualified for the onerous and responsible pro- 
fessional duties which devolved upon him. He put aside all business and per- 
sonal considerations, however, when the Civil war was in progress that he might 
aid his country in preserving the Union. He enlisted in 1861, joining the Eighth 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry under Colonel Richard Oglesby. He entered the 
service as assistant surgeon and later was made surgeon of the regiment, in 
which capacity he served until the close of the war, when he was honorably dis- 
charged. He did important service for the wounded and sick soldiers and many 
have reason to remember him with gratitude for his kindly ministrations and 
ready professional aid. 




t/ 7 ? 



C^L^^rZ^ 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 33 

When the war was over, Dr. Denison returned to Illinois, settling in Cerro 
Gordo, where he engaged in the practice of medicine for a short time. He was 
married in 1867, at Latham, Illinois, to Miss Drusilla A. Ellis, a native of In- 
diana, who was there reared. Following their marriage Dr. Denison and his 
wife became residents of Newberg, Illinois, where he continued in the practice 
of his profession until his removal to Argenta, being one of the first to locate 
here. In 1881 he removed to Decatur, that his son might have the advantage of 
the better schools of the city. His wife died in Decatur in 1886 and the follow- 
ing year Dr. Denison returned to his old home in Argenta. He then retired 
from his professional duties and took up stock-raising and farming until 1907, 
when he retired from all business. For his second wife he chose Mary McNeal. 
He died in Argenta, July 25, 1910, and was buried with Masonic honors, as he 
was long a faithful and exemplary representative of the craft having taken all 
the degrees in Masonry several years before except the thirty-third. His widow 
and son Charles A. Denison still survive him. 



CAPTAIN ROBERT P. LYTLE. 

No resident of Decatur has been for a longer period or more continuously 
connected with the postoffice of the city than Captain Robert P. Lytle. As 
postmaster and assistant postmaster he has been active in the management of 
the mail service in this city for almost thirty years, and his record in this con- 
nection is characterized by the same spirit of loyalty that marked his service as 
a soldier on the battlefields of the south during the Civil war. His long residence 
in Decatur, his close association with its business and official interests, his ac- 
tivity in politics and his loyalty to his friends and to every cause which he 
espouses, have made him so uniformly esteemed and respected that the record 
of his life cannot fail to prove of interest to the readers of this volume. 

The Lytle family was founded in America in colonial days and John Lytle, 
the great-grandfather, joined the colonial army soon after the outbreak of the 
Revolutionary war. He was the father of John Lytle, Jr., and the grand- 
father of Andrew Lytle, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1806, and in early 
life learned and followed the tanner's trade. He afterward took up the occupa- 
tion of farming and, in keeping with the military spirit that has frequently 
been manifested in the family, he joined the Pennsylvania Militia and served 
as an officer. He was married in his native state to Miss Nancy McKay, who 
was born in Pennsylvania and died in Waterford, that state, in 1892. She had 
long survived her husband, who passed away in 1876. 

Their son, Robert P. Lytle, was born in Erie county, Pennsylvania, July 
8, 1837. One seeing him in the postoffice, active in the exercise of the duties 
which devolve upon him, would hardly suspect, however, that he has reached 
the seventy-third milestone on life's journey. The exercise and activity keep 
him alert, and his interest in affairs of public moment has never in the least 
abated. He began his education in the schools of his native city and later spent 
a year as a student in the Waterford Academy, at Waterford, Pennsylvania. He 



34 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

started in business life as a clerk in a general store, owned by the Sharon Iron 
Company at Clay Furnace, Pennsylvania, where he remained for three years. 
Removing to Buffalo, New York, he there qualified for active service in the 
business world by pursuing a course in a commercial college in the winter of 
1857-58. He then came to Illinois and secured the position of bookkeeper in a 
general store at New Boston, Mercer county, but when the call to arms came 
his patriotic spirit was aroused and the Union soon numbered him among its 
loyal defenders. He was enrolled on the 20th of August, 1861, at Springfield, 
as a member of Company G, Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry, under the com- 
mand of Captain Southward and Colonel N. B. Buford. The regiment was sent 
to Cairo, Illinois, in September, and assigned to the brigade command of Gen- 
eral John A. McClernand. Captain Lytle participated in a number of engage- 
ments and skirmishes including the battle of Belmont, Missouri, November 
7, 1861. Later the regiment was detached from McClernand's brigade and, 
assigned to the gunboat flotilla, participated in the siege of Island No. 10. His 
military history has been written as follows : "He took part in the siege of 
Corinth in June, 1862, was at Nashville, Tennessee, from September nth to 
November 23d, and during this time participated in the battle of La Vergne, 
followed by the battle of Stone River. On the 19th and 20th of September, 
1863, he was in the battle of Chickamauga and in the battle of Missionary 
Ridge on the 25th of November, 1863, at which place he was wounded in the 
right leg and right arm. In consequence he was sent to the hospital. When he 
had partially recovered from his wounds he rejoined his regiment at Loudon, 
Tennessee, and participated in the battles of Rockyface Ridge, Resaca, Burnt 
Hickory and Kenesaw Mountain. In the last engagement, June 27, 1864, he 
lost his left arm. On the 20th of September, 1864, he was honorably discharged 
with his company and regiment and, being mustered out of service at Camp 
Butler, Springfield, Illinois, returned to Pennsylvania." 

In the winter of 1864-5 Captain Lytle remained in Pennsylvania, after 
which he went to Nashville, Tennessee, as the representative of the American 
Bridge Company. When the business of that corporation was closed out there 
he returned to the north and in 1866 came to Decatur. Here he has since re- 
sided and has been closely associated with the welfare and interests of this city. 
For six and a half years he occupied the position of bookkeeper with William 
Lintner & Company, and then established business on his own account, forming 
a partnership with Thomas T. Roberts, under the firm style of Roberts & Lytle, 
for the manufacture of coffins. The business, carried on under the name of the 
Decatur Coffin Company, was continued until 1875, when Captain Lytle dis- 
posed of his interest to enter upon the duties of postmaster, to which position 
he had been appointed by President Grant. Reappointment under different 
presidential administrations continued him in the office for twelve years, and 
he retired from the position as he had entered it — with the confidence and re- 
gard of all concerned. In 1887 he once more became connected with commer- 
cial interests as senior partner of the Lytle & Eckles Hardware Company, and 
for five years continued in that position. They sold out in 1893 and soon 
afterward Captain Lytle received the appointment of assistant postmaster from 
William F. Calhoun. He has since continued in that position, so that his con- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 35 

nection with the office as postmaster and assistant covers almost three decades. 
His course has ever been above question, being characterized by the utmost 
fidelity to duty and as well by promptness and efficiency in the execution of 
the work of the office. 

As is indicated by his official service, Captain Lytle is a republican, recog- 
nized as one of the leading workers in the ranks of the party in Macon county. 
He has done not a little to shape its policy and guide its activities. He was for 
ten years chairman of the county republican central committee and for three 
years was township and city collector. 

Captain Lytle was married January 12, 1864, to Miss Elizabeth Smith, of 
Waterford, Pennsylvania, a daughter of George and Mary Smith. Their chil- 
dren are: Harry Wells, of Kansas City, Missouri; Frank A., of Decatur; Rob- 
ert B., who died in 1891 ; and Edith May, the wife of Craig Smith, of Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania. Their home has ever been celebrated for its warm-hearted hos- 
pitality which has been greatly enjoyed by their extensive circle of friends. 
They are among the oldest as well as among the most active and faithful mem- 
bers of the First Presbyterian church, and Captain Lytle has long been a prom- 
inent member of the Grand Army post at Decatur. He was here when the or- 
ganization was founded and of the original post he has served as commander. 
In 1888 he was honored with the position of senior vice commander of tha 
department of Illinois and has frequently been a delegate to various national 
encampments. 

He is a gentleman of liberal culture, of broad mind and of progressive spirit, 
who has learned to correctly follow life's contacts and experiences and glean 
from each the lesson that it contains. He has long been a forceful factor in 
the community and his influence has ever been on the side where progress is 
conserved and truth and right supported. 



GUS A. AHRENS. 1*98138 

Gus A. Ahrens, a prominent and successful representative of the business 
interests of Decatur, has for the past twenty- three years carried on an exten- 
sive mineral bottling and manufacturing enterprise here. His birth occurred in 
Davenport, Iowa, on the 14th of August, 1858, his parents being Edward A. and 
Elizabeth M. (Paulsen) Ahrens. The father was born in Hamburg, Germany, 
on the 4th of July, 181 1 while the mother's birth occurred in Kiel, Germany, 
October 28, 1825. Their marriage was celebrated in the fatherland in 1847. In 
1855 Edward A. Ahrens emigrated to the United States, locating at Davenport, 
Iowa, where he successfully carried on business as a wholesale manufacturer 
of sash, doors and blinds until called to his final rest on the 30th of September, 
1901. His widow, who still survives, yet makes her home in Davenport. 

Gus A. Ahrens attended the schools of his native city until thirteen years 
of age and then secured a position as grocery clerk, being thus employed for 
four years. On the expiration of that period he embarked in business on his 
own account as a tea and coffee merchant, conducting an enterprise of that 



36 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

character for twelve years and winning a gratifying measure of prosperity by 
reason of his able management. It was with the idea of taking up his abode 
in Lincoln, Nebraska, that he disposed of his interests in this connection. On 
the 17th of May, 1887, however, he came to Decatur, Illinois, to visit with 
friends for several days and was so well pleased with the place that he aban- 
doned all his previous plans and decided to become a permanent resident of this 
city. He purchased the mineral bottling and manufacturing concern of his 
father-in-law Fred Kuny, and has since conducted the enterprise in a manner 
that has insured its continuous and substantial growth. He now enjoys an 
extensive and profitable trade and is widely recognized as one of the leading 
and representative business men of Decatur. 

Mr. Ahrens has been married twice. On the 10th of June, 1886, he wedded. 
Miss Sophia Kuny, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Kuny, both of whom 
were natives of Germany and are now deceased. They took up their abode in 
Decatur at an early day and became widely and favorably known here. ■ Mr. 
Ahrens lost his first wife on the 7th of May, 1907, and on the 10th of Miarch, 
1910, he was again married, his second union being with Miss Alice Latsbaugh, 
of Indianapolis, Indiana. Her parents are J. C. and Ida (Smalley) Latsbaugh, 
the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Decatur, Illinois. Her 
father is connected with the Barry Saw Company of Indianapolis. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Ahrens has sup- 
ported the democracy, believing firmly in its principles. In 1895 he was elected 
alderman of the fourth ward and during his two years' service exercised his 
official prerogatives in support of all measures instituted to promote the im- 
provement and progress of the city. At the present time he is serving as hu- 
mane officer of Macon county and plans are now under way for the organization 
of a society to carry on the work in this connection. Fraternally he is identified 
with the Royal Arcanum and the Knights of Pythias, having held nearly all of 
the offices in the latter organization. He is likewise an active member of the 
United Commercial Travelers and the Travelers Protective Association. His 
wife is a devoted and consistent member of the Baptist church. Mr. Ahrens 
has always been found loyal and faithful to his friends, who recognize his true 
worth, and he is held in high regard by his social as well as his business associates. 



ROBERT MORRIS. 



Robert Morris, who is now living in honorable retirement at No. 333 West 
North street in Decatur, is a native of New Jersey, his birth having occurred 
at Seaville, Cape May county, on the 1st of August, 1838. He spent the first 
fourteen years of his life in the east and then accompanied his parents on their 
removal to Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1852. His father, William Morris, 
also a native of New Jersey, was born in 1806 and having arrived at years 
of maturity, wedded Eliza Hughes, whose birth occurred in the same state in 
1809. They were the parents of six children : Robert, whose name introduces 
this record ; Albert, who died at the age of two years ; Pauline ; Lydia ; Albert, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 37 

the second of the name, who died at the age of twenty-five years and was 
buried near Springfield; and William R. The father died in Sangamon county 
in March, 1892, after a residence there of over forty years. His widow sur- 
vived him until 1902, and both were laid to rest in the cemetery in Farming- 
dale, Illinois, where the grave of their son Albert had previously been made. 

Robert Morris was reared on the old home farm in Sangamon county amid 
pioneer conditions and environments. The public schools afforded him his 
educational privileges and he aided in the work of the fields when not busy 
with his text-books. After arriving at years of maturity he was joined in 
wedlock, in Sangamon county, to Miss Mary E. Lyman, the marriage being 
celebrated on the 15th of November, 1867. Immediately after their marriage 
Mr. and Mrs. Morris removed to Macon county, settling on a farm on section 
24, Austin tov-n = rnn. He bent his energies to the development and cultivation 
of the place, added to it many modern improvements, and was soon recognized 
as one of the most enterprising and progressive farmers of the community. 
Year by year he carefully tilled the fields until at length he won the success 
that enabled him to put aside active business cares and live retired, his capital 
being sufficient to supply him with all of the comforts and some of the luxuries 
of life. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Morris were born four children: Etta Caroline, who 
died at the age of twenty-five years; William Ezra, who died at the age of 
eighteen years ;Robert Lyman, a practicing physician of Decatur; and Frank 
Hayes. While upon the farm, Mr. Morris filled the office of supervisor, but 
has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. His political support 
is given to the republican party. Both he and his wife are active and devoted 
members of the Methodist church, in which he is serving as class leader, while 
in the various departments of the church work he takes active and helpful in- 
terest. 



ROBERT LYMAN MORRIS, M. D. 

Dr. Robert Lyman Morris is one of the younger members of the medical 
profession in Decatur, yet his age seems no bar to his success. Gradually he 
has worked his way upward and is now accorded a good patronage. He was 
born in Austin township, this county, on the 6th of December, 1879, and is 
a son of Robert Morris, a retired farmer of Decatur, who is mentioned else- 
where in this volume. His early education was acquired in the district schools 
while spending his youthful days upon his father's farm, but ambitious to enjoy 
more advanced opportunities, he pursued an academic course, spending a year 
in the academical department of the University of Illinois, and then one year 
as a university student. Entering the medical department of the state uni- 
versity, he there pursued his preliminary studies in preparation for the pro- 
fession, and afterward entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chi- 
cago, where he completed the regular course and was graduated with the class 
of 1904. He also did clinical work in Chicago, and his experience in that di- 



38 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

rection greatly broadened his knowledge and qualified him for the duties 
which he assumed on leaving college. 

Immediately following his graduation, Dr. Morris located for practice in 
Decatur, where he has since remained. Everything which tends to bring to 
man the key to the complex mystery which we call life claims his interest, and 
as the years go by he is constantly promoting his efficiency by reason of his 
broadening experience and his research work. He keeps in touch with the 
progress of his profession through his connection with various societies for 
the dissemination of knowledge concerning the practice of both medicine and 
surgery. He belongs to the Decatur Medical Society, the Illinois State Medi- 
cal Society and the American Medical Association. In addition to his private 
practice he is examining physician for the Massachusetts Mutual Insurance 
Company and the Pioneer Life Insurance Company, and is local surgeon for 
the Illinois Traction Hospital Association. 

In 1909 Dr. Morris was married to Miss Cleona Johnston, a native of Chris- 
tian county, Illinois, and they are widely and favorably known socially in De- 
catur. Dr. Morris belongs to Macon Lodge, No. 8, A. F. & A. M. He is 
actuated by a laudable ambition in his chosen life work, and also by a sense 
of conscientious obligation which renders him most careful in the diagnosis of 
cases. His work is being attended by excellent results, and he well merits the 
liberal practice that is now his. 



GEORGE W. MUELLER. 

It has often been pointed out that real life presents experiences of more 
vital interest than any stories that have ever been drawn from imagination. 
The truth of this statement is illustrated by contact with business men who 
have risen from a humble position to places of large responsibility. Ambition, 
pluck and perseverance have carried many a boy to financial success, and it 
has been largely through the application of these important principles that 
George W. Mueller of Decatur occupies the place he holds today as head of 
one of the prosperous wholesale grocery establishments of central Illinois. 

He was born at Huntington, Indiana, October 2, 1863, and is a son of 
Francis and Eugenia (Roeder) Mueller. The father was born near Berlin, 
Germany, and the mother in Switzerland, but she lived most of her life before 
coming to America at Fulda, Hesse-Cassel, Germany. The parents settled at 
Newark, Ohio, in 1850, and there Francis Mueller conducted a music store. 
Later he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and thence to Huntington, Indiana, 
finally coming to Bloomington, Illinois, in 1869. He departed this life in 1892 
at the age of seventy-two years. The beloved mother was called away at the 
age of sixty-five, in 1886. 

The subject of this review possessed good opportunities for education, and 
was graduated from the Bloomington high school in 1876. He was then only 
thirteen years of age, and was the youngest graduate that has ever completed 
the course of that school. He attended the Illinois Wesleyan University until 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 39 

1880, and then began his active career as errand boy in the wholesale grocery 
house of J. S. Roush & Sons. Upon the death of Mr. Roush in 1886 the 
business was disposed of and Mr. Mueller removed to Chicago, where he be- 
came connected with the wholesale house of Franklin MacVeagh & Company. 
There he had charge of various departments, but his health giving out from 
over-application, he resigned in 1898. In connection with Cyrus E. Wheeland 
and F. M. Young, he later established the wholesale grocery house of Mueller, 
Young & Wheeland, at Decatur, which from the beginning has been a marked 
success. Mr. Young's interest was purchased by E. M. Piatt and C. M. Luling, 
of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and the name of the firm was changed to Mueller, 
Piatt & Wheeland Company. The capital stock paid in was twenty thousand 
dollars. This has been increased to one hundred thousand dollars, and the 
surplus allowed to remain in the business is fifty thousand. The house carries 
a stock of about one hundred thousand dollars and has twelve men on the road, 
covering a territory of about one hundred and fifty miles around Decatur. The 
annual sales have shown a gratifying growth from year to year, and at the 
present time amount to about seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 

On November 26, 189 1, Mr. Mueller was united in marriage to Miss Irene 
Moon, a daughter of A. J. Moon, a prominent landowner and stock-raiser of 
Lexington, Illinois. Mr. Mueller is an adherent of the republican party, be- 
lieving that its principles are best adapted to promote the permanent interests 
of the country. He is a member of the First Methodist church of Decatur, 
and socially is identified with the Masonic fraternity, the Tribe of Ben Hur, 
the Modern Woodmen of America and the Decatur Club. He is highly re- 
spected for his sterling qualities, and during thirty years in active affairs he 
has made many friends among his business associates, who have always found 
him to be a man of the strictest integrity and one whose word is as good as 
his bond. He is blessed with a sound judgment and broad sympathies and 
possesses the attributes that belong to the good citizen. No enterprise that 
aims to promote the public welfare fails to receive his hearty support, and 
therefore he is justly numbered among the progressive and useful men of 
Decatur. 



EDWARD D. MATTES. 

Edward D. Mattes needs no introduction to the readers of this volume. The 
name of Mattes has long been a synonym for brick manufacture in Decatur 
and, entering this field of business in early life, Edward D. Mattes has so di- 
rected his efforts that energy and capable management have brought him the 
experience and ability that place him as one of the most prominent representa- 
tives in this line of activity. He was born in this city November 14, 1866, a 
son of Frederick Mattes, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume 
in connection with the sketch of John F. Mattes. At the usual age he became 
a pupil in the public schools and passed through consecutive grades until he 
left the high school to take up the practical lessons to be learned in the school 
of experience. His training in the work of brickmaking then began and he 



40 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

continued his association with his father in business until the latter's retire- 
ment. At the age of twenty-one he became a member of the firm and the enter- 
prise was conducted under the style of Mattes & Sons for a number of years, 
or until it was absorbed by the incorporation of the Decatur Brick Company. 
Edward D. Mattes becoming general manager of the greater concern. He has 
since acted in that capacity and his capable conduct of the business is manifest 
in its splendid success. His practical knowledge of every detail of the business 
well qualifies him for executive control. He knows the value of all the products 
used and the possibilities of the market and is quick to adopt every idea that 
leads to improvement in the product or to the legitimate extension of the trade. 
He is also a stockholder in the Manufacturers & Consumers Coal Company. 

In 1895 Mr. Mattes was married to Miss Emma L. Roeder, of St. Louis, 
Missouri, and they are well known in the social circles of the city and are de- 
voted members of the First Methodist Episcopal church, in which Mr. Mattes is 
serving as steward, while in the various departments of church work both he 
and his wife are actively interested. He belongs to Ionic Lodge, No. 312, A. F. & 
A. M. ; Macon Chapter, No. 27, R. A. M. ; and Beaumonoir Commandery, No. 
9, K. T. He is also connected with Mohammed Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., 
of Peoria, and both he and his wife belong to the Eastern Star lodge in Decatur. 
His political views are in accord with republican principles and he is always 
mindful of the duties and obligations of citizenship yet never an aspirant for 
office. His business affairs, his social relations and his home interests claim 
his attention and in all these he measures up to the full standard of high and 
honorable manhood. 



THE POWERS FAMILY. 

The history of Macon county would be incomplete without extended refer- 
ence to the Powers family. Through more than six decades the name has fig- 
ured in connection with the development of this section of the state. Orlando 
Powers came to Decatur in 1849. In matters of public concern as well as 
in the conduct of large business enterprises he played a leading role on the 
stage of action. He seemed ever to follow the mandate, "turn thy defeats 
into victory; make thy hopes a reality; never let thy personal interest consti- 
tute the bounds of thine horizon, but reach out for the larger, uplifting things 
of life." Today there is no name spoken in Decatur with greater honor and 
reverence than that of Orlando Powers. His business ability was proven in 
the wonderful success which he achieved; his honor in the rectitude of the 
methods which he followed; his patriotism in his support of municipal and 
national projects for the general good; his charity in the generous division 
which he made of his wealth to the unfortunate. 

He was a comparatively young man — thirty-seven years of age — when he 
came to Decatur, and from that time forward was closely associated with the 
business development of the city along those lines which have led to its sub- 
stantial upbuilding. Already his experiences had covered a wide range, and 
had developed in him the power of quick and accurate judgment and keen dis- 




OtM 



u 



71 



--xs^sb 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 43 

crimination. He was born near the village of Charlton, Saratoga county, New 
York, May 21, 1812, and pursued his education in the common schools, which 
he attended through the winter months, while the summer seasons were de- 
voted to the work of the home farm. He was sixteen years of age when his 
brother William requested that he should go to Havana, Cuba, and become his 
assistant in business there. Proceeding to New York, he became a passenger 
on the schooner Helen, which encountered a severe storm three days later and 
was wrecked. The rescue of Mr. Powers was certainly marvelous. He and 
Captain Tucker, who commanded the vessel, together with three of the sailors, 
drifted upon the open sea for eleven days, clinging to the disabled hulk, part 
of which was out of water. They subsisted upon a scanty supply of sea biscuit 
and raw potatoes, and a very short allowance of water. When nearly fam- 
ished because of lack of food and almost crazed by want of drink, they were 
picked up by a French brig bound for Bordeaux, and eventually landed at La 
Rochelle, whence they were taken on to Bordeaux by land. Mr. Powers had 
no money nor clothing save that which he wore and was even without a hats 
but found a kind friend in an English gentleman who relieved his immediate 
wants and cared for him until opportunity came for him to return home. Re- 
crossing the Atlantic, he landed at New York, and through the assistance of 
business acquaintances and his elder brother, he was able to promptly discharge 
the indebtedness which it had been necessary for him to incur. His people who 
mourned him as dead were greatly surprised and rejoiced to welcome him, for 
he proceeded at once by steamer up the Hudson river to his home. He did not 
attempt again to enter business circles in Cuba, but on again leaving New York 
sailed for Mobile, Alabama, this time on a safe voyage, which brought him at 
length to his destination. He was connected with business interests in Alabama 
and Mississippi in association with his brothers and brother-in-law, Chauncey 
Wilkinson, being located at different times at Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Prairie Bluff 
and Aberdeen. In 1849, however, he heard and heeded the call of the middle 
west and Decatur gained thereby a citizen, the value of whose service in later 
years cannot be overestimated. Two years previously he had visited this city, 
his mother and two brothers, George and Samuel, having located here some 
years before. It was then a little town but he recognized the fact that it lay 
in the midst of a rich country and gave promise of future development. He 
therefore sought its opportunities when he left the south, and with the excep- 
tion of about a decade passed in Jacksonville, Illinois, he continued a resident 
of Decatur from 1849 until his death. 

Even previous to this time the name of Powers had figured in connection 
with business activities in Macon county. William Lorenzo Powers, who was 
born in New York city, December 9, 1804, had removed to Mobile, Alabama, 
where he followed merchandising for a number of years and then came to 
Illinois, settling in Bloomington. Making his home in that city, he engaged 
in the land business, entering extensive tracts in McLean and Macon counties. 
He never resided in Decatur, but owned considerable property here, and in 
1858 erected a building of three stories on East Main, between Water street 
and the alley west, which building is still standing. He also owned a number 
of farms in Macon county. He died unmarried, August 28, 1858. 



44 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Orlando Powers' initial business effort in Decatur was in the operation of 
a saw and grist mill, which he owned and conducted for some time. He then 
turned his attention to merchandising as proprietor of a boot and shoe store, 
and therein laid the foundation for the success which in time placed him in 
the front rank among the business men of the city. For many years he was 
the owner of the only set of abstract books in Macon county. As he came into 
close touch with the people and learned of the district in which he had cast 
his lot, he realized that it must in time become a thickly settled region, because 
of the fertility of the soil. He therefore invested in real estate, adding to his 
property from time to time until his holdings of both farm land and city realty- 
were extensive. When opportunity came for profitable sale he disposed of his 
holdings and also improved and developed his property. In 1889 he erected 
the Decatur Opera House, a beautiful and substantial "palace of dramatic art." 
Where the interests of the city were involved, as well as where private enter- 
prises were concerned, he gave liberally, and almost every public interest of 
Decatur benefited by his generous support, his cooperation, and his influence. 
His name and example always carried weight and secured for any movement 
or project a large following. This was due to the fact that his judgment was 
recognized as uniformly sound, and all, moreover, felt that the spirit of munici- 
pal loyalty was one of his strong characteristics. 

The year which witnessed Mr. Powers' arrival in Decatur also chronicled 
his marriage, Miss Charlotte E. Given, of Smithland, Union county, Kentucky, 
becoming his wife. He had formed her acquaintance two years before in travel- 
ing on horseback from Mobile, Alabama, to Decatur, and the friendship which 
then had its inception, • ripened into love and was consummated in marriage. 
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Powers were born two daughters and two sons. Alice, the 
eldest, born September 30, 1856, died on the 22d of April, 1878. Charles G. 
Powers, the elder son, was born in Decatur, June 30, 1861. In the public 
schools of this city he mastered the elementary branches of learning, afterward 
attended the Illinois College at Jacksonville, and also pursued a commercial 
course in Brown's Business College. He was only thirteen years of age when 
he went to Jacksonville in company with his sister Annabel, who entered the 
Deaf Mute Institute there because of her hearing. For eight years he re- 
mained in that city. He entered upon the study of law in Decatur under the 
direction of the firm of Crea & Ewing, attorneys, but was not admitted to the 
bar, his object in studying law being to gain enough knowledge of legal prin- 
ciples to enable him to manage his father's business. In 1884 the family re- 
turned to Decatur from Jacksonville, and Charles G. Powers took charge of 
the estate, which he yet supervises. In this connection he displays keen insight, 
sound judgment, unfaltering enterprise and progressive methods. The Powers 
estate is one of the largest in this section, and covers many business and resi- 
dence properties in Decatur. On the 21st of June, 1887, Charles G. Powers 
was married to Miss Effie Rogers, a daughter of Jason Rogers, of this city, 
and they have one child, John Howard, born August 23, 1895. The parents are 
members of the First Presbyterian church, and are prominent in the social 
circles of the city. Mr. Powers also belongs to the Decatur Club, the Elks Club 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 45 

and the Country Club, his recreation largely coming to him through his con- 
nection with those organizations. 

Howard W. Powers, the second son, was born in Decatur, June 20, 1864, 
and completed his education in the schools of Jacksonville, being a graduate of 
the Illinois College of that city. He joined his brother in the management of 
the estate left by the father, and they have since been associated in business 
under the name of C. G. & H. W. Powers. They are recognized as gentlemen 
of excellent business sagacity and keen foresight and in the supervision of ex- 
tensive property interests have shown marked discrimination combined with an 
aptitude for successful management that is evidenced in the excellent results 
which attend their labors. On the 19th of December, 1903, Howard W. Powers 
was married to Miss Mabel Durfee, a daughter of Captain George Durfee, of 
Decatur, and they have three children : Howard William, born March 8, 1905 ; 
Given Durfee, April 20, 1909; and Robert Charles, June 29, 1910. Howard 
W. Powers has a home at Palm Beach, Florida, where he spends the winter 
months, while the summer seasons are passed in the north. He, too, is a mem- 
ber of the Decatur Club, the Elks Club and the Country Club. 

Annabel Powers, born in Decatur, August 8, 1867, lost her hearing when 
five years of age through spinal meningitis, and two years later the family 
removed to Jacksonville for the purpose of educating her at the Deaf and 
Dumb State Institution, remaining in that city for ten years. She was mar- 
ried June 17, 1890, to Charles Kerney, of Evansville, Indiana, who died in 
Decatur, August 1, 1902, leaving a daughter, Charlotte Wright, born January 
4, 1895. Mrs. Kerney was married again on the 26th of May, 1904, becoming 
the wife of William C. Tilley, of San Francisco, where they now reside. Mrs. 
Tilley owns a beautiful home of her own at Tiberon, across the bay north of 
San Francisco. 

When age conferred upon Orlando Powers the right of franchise he sup- 
ported the whig party, but joined the republican party as a supporter of Abra- 
ham Lincoln during his first presidential candidacy. He never faltered there- 
after as an advocate of republican principles, for he deemed them most effective 
forces for good government. He long held membership in the First Presby- 
terian church of Decatur, and was one of its most active and helpful workers, 
giving generous assistance toward building its house of worship, also to sup- 
port its local interests and its missionary endeavors. He was the founder of 
the scholarship in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in the northwest. 
He never made religion a thing apart from his life — a Sunday observance as 
it were — but found in the teachings of the church the principles which guided 
his conduct and shaped his relations with his fellowmen. A tale of sorrow or 
distress awakened his ready sympathy, and when it was in his power to render 
assistance he did so. If a census could be taken of Decatur's citizens whom 
he has helped in one way or another, the number would reach up to a large fig- 
ure. Business firms and individuals alike received his assistance in hours of 
need, and his unostentatious method of giving aid makes it certain that many 
were the recipients of his bounty of whom the public have no knowledge. 
When a public project was instituted for the benefit of Decatur, he was among 
the first to espouse the cause, and his citizenship was characterized by an un- 



46 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

faltering loyalty. He was ever devoted to the welfare of his family, and the 
close companionship which existed between himself and his wife made theirs 
largely an ideal relation. The death of Mrs. Powers occurred May 3, 1897. 
For five years more Mr. Powers trod life's pathway, and on the 1st of July, 
1902, was called to the home beyond. His were "the blest accompaniments 
of age — honor, riches, troops of friends." It was his to preserve the precious 
prize of keen mentality to the closing hours of life, and when the end came, 
it was as "one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to 
pleasant dreams." 

The Powers family is now represented in Decatur by the two brothers, 
Charles G. and Howard W., who, managing the estate, are still actively con- 
cerned in the business interests of the city and are, moreover, leading figures 
in the social life of Decatur, and also Mrs. Annabel (Powers) Tilley, who 
spends most of her time at her winter home in California. 



JOHN ALLEN. 



It is refreshing in this day when so much is written about graft and po- 
litical dishonesty to consider the history of John Allen, whose public record 
has been free from attack. The position to him has been purely that of po- 
litical preference, arising in no degree from personal considerations. He now 
occupies the position of circuit clerk and official abstractor for Macon county, 
continuing in the former position without interruption for ten years. 

He was born in Evansville, Indiana, June 16, 1863, and is a son of James 
and Ellen (Vickery) Allen, both of whom were natives of Ireland, and came 
to America in childhood. The father was engaged in the boot and shoe busi- 
ness for a number of years in Evansville, where he died in 1901, having for 
about four years survived his wife. 

John Allen was educated in the public schools of his native city, and in his 
youthful days sold newspapers and worked in a printing office. Throughout 
his life he has eagerly availed himself of every opportunity for advancement, 
and promotion has at all times been honestly won. For several years he was 
employed in a grocery store in Vincennes, Indiana, and in 1884, when twenty- 
one years of age, came to Decatur and for several years was connected with 
a grocery store on Merchant street, later engaging in the real-estate business. 
He was elected to the board of supervisors of Decatur township in 1897, which 
position he held for four years, being chairman of the board for one year and 
was a member of the first board of review. 

In 1900 he was elected circuit clerk and has three times been elected to 
that office, receiving at the last election the highest vote ever given to any can- 
didate in Macon county — a fact which is indicative of his popularity as an offi- 
cial and of the unqualified confidence reposed in him. He is now serving for 
the tenth year in that position and in the discharge of his duties his prompt- 
ness, faithfulness and efficiency have gained him high encomiums. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 47 

In 1903 the county board sought to establish a set of modern indices by 
tracts of land, commonly known as a tract index, and reposing full confidence 
in the ability of Mr. Allen, entrusted him with the responsibility of preparing 
these books. When completed the county board contracted with Mr. Allen to 
compile abstracts of title for hire, and for the past four years abstracts of title 
have been compiled and sold under the direction of John Allen to the people 
of Macon county with a success beyond the expectation of the county board, 
and the net earnings from the sale of abstracts have paid the cost of compila- 
tion of the tract index books. Macon and Cook counties are the only counties 
in the state that have as yet successfully engaged in the compilation and sale 
of abstracts of title. These tract books, fifty in number, were made under Mr. 
Allen's personal supervision and have proven a valuable acquisition to the rec- 
ords of the office of the county recorder. The plan has met with the approval 
of the property owners in the city and county. 

On the 27th day of September, 1888, Mr. Allen was united in marriage to 
Miss Flora Hester, a native of Indiana, and to them has been born one son, 
Edgar Hester Allen. The parents are members of the Methodist church, and 
Mr. Allen is connected with several fraternities. His home is in one of De- 
catur's attractive suburbs known as Allendale, located a short distance west of 
the Millikin University. 

Few of the residents of Decatur have a wider acquaintance or are held in 
higher regard than John Allen, whose devotion to duty has won him the favor- 
able opinion of all with whom he has come in contact. Moreover, he is a 
gentleman of genial manner and kindly disposition, and these qualities, com- 
bined with his deference for the opinion of others, have gained for him high 
regard. His trustworthiness and loyalty in office may well constitute an ex- 
ample for other Illinois officials. 



L. W. WHEELER. 



L. W. Wheeler resides on section 2, Oakley township, and is the owner of 
a well improved and valuable farm of three hundred acres. The active man- 
agement of the place, however, he largely leaves to others, although for a long 
period he personally engaged in the raising of grain and stock. He was born 
in Macon county, May 9, 1838. His father, Garland Wheeler, a native of Vir- 
ginia, removed from that state to Kentucky, where he was united in marriage 
in Bullitt county, to Miss Elizabeth Whitledge, who was also born in the Old 
Dominion, but was reared in the Blue Grass state. Garland Wheeler followed 
farming in Kentucky for many years and thirteen children were born unto 
them there. In September, 1834, the family left their old home for Illinois 
and working their way northward to Macon county, the father entered two hun- 
dred and forty acres of prairie land and eighty acres of timber land in Oakley 
township, where he began the development of a new farm. He became a well 
known and prosperous agriculturist of the community. Upon this place he 
reared his family and spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1864. 



48 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

His wife survived him for a number of years and passed away in January, 
1879. 

L. W. Wheeler is the youngest of the family and the only one of the four- 
teen children born in Macon county. There were six sons and eight daughters, 
thirteen of whom grew to years of maturity, but only the subject of this review 
now survives. He was reared on the home farm, remaining with his father 
and mother until they were called to their final rest. Previous to the death 
of his parents, he .took charge of the property, bending his energies to the de- 
velopment of the fields and the care of the crops. He is almost wholly a self- 
educated man and practical experience, reading and observation have brought 
him much valuable knowledge. As a companion and helpmate for life's jour- 
ney he chose Sarah Kemp, who was born in Scott county, Illinois, but was 
reared in Macon county. Their marriage was celebrated on the nth of No- 
vember, 1858, and they began their domestic life on the home farm, which was 
afterward inherited by L. W. Wheeler and his brother Garland. They worked 
together for some years. Afterward L. W. Wheeler purchased other land and 
is now the owner of three hundred and twenty acres, improved with three sets 
of good farm buildings. The equipments upon the place are modern and in- 
dicate the progressive spirit of the owner. In connection with the tilling of 
the soil Mr. Wheeler engaged in breeding and dealing in cattle, horses and 
hogs and in both lines of his work met with substantial and gratifying returns. 
He has resided at his present place of abode since June, 1906. 

In 1865 Mr. Wheeler was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife. 
There were four children of that marriage: Mary E., who grew to womanhood 
and was married, but has now passed away ; William A., who died at the age 
of thirteen years; and Samuel and Edward, also deceased. On the 25th of 
September, 1869, Mr. Wheeler was married to Miss Anna Boyd, a native of 
Coles county, Illinois, and there were two sons of that marriage: Oliver, who 
died at the age of two years; and George R., who was married and passed 
away on the 5th of June, 1900. He was a well educated man and for some 
years successfully engaged in teaching. At his death he left a wife and son, 
Boyd Wallace Wheeler, who resides with his grandparents. On the 25th of 
September, 1879, in Oakley township, L. W. Wheeler wedded Margaret Ross, 
who was born in Brown county, Ohio, and was there reared to the age of six- 
teen years. Her education was acquired in the schools of that state and of 
Illinois. Her parents were Taylor and Sarah Ross, both of whom were natives 
of Ohio, whence they removed to Illinois in 1868, settling in Taylor county. 
There have been two sons born of the last marriage of Mr. Wheeler: Richard 
C, who is a farmer of Oakley township and is married and has two children, 
John Ross and Hazel Amanda; and Linn Virgil, who occupies the old home 
farm on which his father was born. He, too, is married and has two daughters, 
Verna Veech and Esther Mina. 

In his political views Mr. Wheeler was formerly a democrat, but of late 
years has been independent, supporting the men whom he regards best qualified 
for office. He is a strong advocate of temperance and is a prohibitionist in 
principle. From his youth to the present time he has never used intoxicants 
nor tobacco. In 1900 his eyesight failed so that he cannot see to any practical 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 49 

purpose. He has passed the seventy-second milestone on life's journey, and 
his has been an active, useful and honorable career. He is regarded as a good 
business man and a public-spirited citizen, and wherever known he is held in 
high esteem. Macon has few native sons who have so long remained within 
her borders. For more than the Psalmist's span of three score years and ten 
he has been a witness of the growth and progress of this portion of the state, 
and has made for himself an excellent record throughout the entire period. 



De WITT C. CORLEY. 



De Witt C. Corley, a leading member of the Decatur bar, who has prac- 
ticed continuously in this city since 1880, was born in Shelby county, Illinois, 
December 24, 1852. His father, Henry W. W. Corley, was a native of Ken- 
tucky and in his boyhood days came with his parents to Illinois, the family 
home being established in Shelby county in 1823, where he was reared, mar- 
ried and spent his after life on a farm. He was at the time of his death recog- 
nized as one of the oldest residents in his county, not in years but in continuous 
residence therein. He wedded Miss Cynthia A. Powell, and died in March, 
1890, at the age of seventy years. 

The home farm was the playground of De Witt C. Corley in his youth and 
his training school for life's practical duties. His educational training was ac- 
quired in the public schools, and in Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, 
from which he was graduated in the class of 1877, with the degree of Bachelor 
of Science. He then turned his attention to teaching in the public schools, 
which he followed for three successive years, but regarded this merely as an 
initial step to further professional labor. Desiring to become a member of the 
bar, he devoted his leisure hours while teaching to the study of law, and in 
1878 continued his reading in the law office of Moulton, Chafee & Headen, at 
Shelbyville, Illinois. In 1879 he came to Decatur and continued his studies 
with Brower A. Bunn as his preceptor. During the winter he taught in Sul- 
phur Springs school, and in the summer of 1880 successfully passed the re- 
quired examination which admitted him to practice before the Illinois bar. In 
the spring of 1881 he was elected to the office of justice of the peace and served 
for four years in that position. He then entered upon the practice of law, which 
he has always followed independently. He now ranks with the leading attor- 
neys of the city, his reputation being won through earnest effort, close applica- 
tion and unfaltering loyalty to the interests of his clients. He has ever been 
careful in the preparation of his cases, martials his evidence with the precision 
of a military commander, and while presenting every detail that may possibly 
bear upon the case, he never loses sight of the important point upon which the 
decision of every case finally turns. 

On the 7th of July, 1887, Mr. Corley was united in marriage to Miss Laura 
Fulton, a daughter of Robert E. and Sarah Jane (Bigger) Fulton. Her father 
is now deceased, while the mother resides with Mr. and Mrs. Corley, whose 



50 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

marriage has been blessed with four children: Helen, who is a graduate of 
the University of Michigan, is now a teacher of languages at Big Rapids, Mich- 
igan; Howard is a sophomore in the University of Illinois, pursuing the engi- 
neering course ; Seymour is a senior in the Decatur high school ; Warren, a lad 
of ten years, completes the family. 

The parents are active members of the Presbyterian church, and Mr. Cor- 
ley is serving as one of its trustees. In politics he is a stanch republican, but 
has never been an office seeker. He belongs to Celestial Lodge, No. 186, I. O. 
O. F., and to Decatur Encampment, No. 37, and is popular with the members 
of that organization. His qualities as a man, as a member of the bar, and as 
a citizen are such as commend him to the confidence and good-will of all, and 
he belongs to that class who uphold the legal and political status of the com- 
munity and seek also its intellectual and moral progress. 



WILLIAM GUSHARD. 



William Gushard, who in 1895 established the important mercantile concern 
that is now known as the William Gushard Dry Goods Company of Decatur, 
passed away at his residence at No. 1000 Marietta street, dying very suddenly 
on the 23d of October, 1909. His birth occurred in Stark county, Ohio, on 
the 5th of March, 1862. His father, George Gushard, carried on merchandising 
in Stark county, where his demise occurred in 1894. He had been twice mar- 
ried, his second wife and the mother of our subject being Mrs. Hannah Rora- 
baugh, who was called to her final rest on the 25th of May, 1865. 

William Gushard spent the first eight years of his life in his native county, 
entering the public schools at the usual age. On leaving Stark county he went 
with his father to Wabash county, Indiana, where he continued his studies until 
a youth of fifteen. Returning to Ohio, he made his home in Akron for the fol- 
lowing nine years and during that period embarked on his business career as 
salesman in a dry-goods establishment. Mastering the business in principle and 
detail, he gained broad and practical knowledge of the methods employed in 
the mercantile world and, being thus well equipped for further advancement, 
he became a trusted employe in the dry-goods house of G. Y. Smith & Company, 
of Kansas City, Missouri. He remained with that concern for two and a half 
years and then invested the capital which he had accumulated through industry 
and economy, becoming the proprietor of a mercantile establishment in Ex- 
celsior Springs, Missouri. Subsequently he was numbered among the leading 
merchants of Topeka, Kansas, being very successful in his business operations. 
In 1895 he came to Decatur, Illinois, and here established a dry goods and milli- 
nery store as the senior member of the firm of Gushard & Company, his partner 
in this enterprise being Walter Buck. The old store was located at No. 207 to 
211 North Water street and its dimensions were fifty by one hundred and twenty 
feet. The building was three stories in height and all three floors were utilized 
for the accommodation of their large stock of millinery and dry goods. From 




IV- 





HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 53 

forty to fifty clerks were employed at that time. On the 30th of May, 1906, 
the location was changed to the Wait building at the northwest corner of William 
and North Water streets. That year the concern was incorporated under the 
state laws and on the death of William Gushard it was reorganized with the fol- 
lowing officers : Clyde F. Trisch, president ; James A. Carroll, vice president ; W. 
Harold Wiley, treasurer ; and J. A. Keith, secretary. The William Gushard Dry 
Goods Company, as the enterprise is now known, occupies two floors and a base- 
ment and has fine display windows. The basement stock comprises dinnerware, 
fancy china, cut glass, house furnishings, packing room, shipping department and 
work rooms for window trimmers and carpet makers. On the first floor may 
be found a general line of dry goods, the ladies' and children's shoe department 
and the offices of the company. The second floor is given over to a millinery 
emporium, ladies' ready to wear garments, corsets, furs, children's department, 
carpets and draperies. During the busy season as high as one hundred and 
fifty people are employed. Mrs. Gushard still retains her husband's large in- 
terest in the dry goods business and is a lady of excellent executive ability and 
sound judgment. Mr. Gushard was likewise a director of the Decatur Foun- 
tain Company and was widely recognized as one of the representative and most 
prosperous business men of the city. 

On December 26, 1895, Mr. Gushard was united in marriage to Miss Delia 
Perkins, who comes of a good Kansas family and who was a popular school 
teacher of Topeka, where she taught for more than ten years. By her marriage 
she became the mother of three children, namely: Geraldine; Hannah Louise; 
and Ruth Elizabeth, who is deceased. 

Fraternally Mr. Gushard was a Knight Templar Mason and a Modern Wood- 
man of America. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the 
First Episcopal church, in which he served as a trustee. His political allegiance 
was given to the republican party and he was a most public-spirited and loyal 
citizen. He was a member of the Houghton Lake & Fishing Club and had but 
recently returned from a fishing trip when his demise occurred. Mrs. Gush- 
ard is a member of the Women's Club of Decatur and also belongs to the 
Methodist Episcopal church. Following the death of her husband she purchased 
lots on the site of her present home, which is at No. 1171 West Main street and 
is a beautiful location, being opposite the entrance to the James Millikin 
University. 



JOHN W. HAWVER. 

Among the residents of Decatur to whose well directed efforts in the field 
of agriculture is due the fact that they are now able to live retired, enjoying 
in well earned rest the fruits of years of earnest and honest toil, is numbered 
John W. Hawver. Born in Indiana on the nth of September, 1851, he is 
a son of John and Elizabeth (Studebaker) Hawver, natives of Maryland and 
Ohio, respectively, who came to Illinois in the spring of 1869. The family home 
was established in Piatt county, near Bement, and there the father passed away 



54 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

in 1894 at the age of seventy-four years. He had been a farmer throughout 
his entire life and in politics was a democrat. His widow still survives, and 
at the ripe old age of eighty-five years makes her home at Cerro Gordo, Piatt 
county. 

John W. Hawver, who was the eldest in a family of five children, was reared 
a country lad and amid the busy activities of rural life spent the period of boy- 
hood and youth. The winter months were devoted to the acquirement of an 
education in the common schools near his father's home, and in the summer 
seasons he worked upon the home farm, early becoming familiar with the tasks 
that fall to the lot of the farm lad. Upon laying aside his text-books he re- 
mained with his father, assisting him in the cultivation of the fields, until 
twenty-two years of age, when, tiring of the narrow confines of country life 
and wishing to see something of the world, he left home. Turning his face 
toward the west, he made his way to Kansas, and later to Oregon and Cali- 
fornia, spending from two to three years in each state, and altogether was 
away from Illinois about nine years. On the expiration of that period he re- 
turned to Illinois, locating in Piatt county, and there took up the occupation 
to which he had been reared. In the spring of 1895 ne removed to Oreana, in 
Whitmore township, Macon county, and there resided until 1908, when he re- 
tired from active life. He had engaged continuously in agricultural pursuits 
since his return from the west, and throughout that period his labors were of 
a most resultant character, making it possible in the latter year to leave the 
farm and, with a goodly competence, seek the comforts offered by city life. 
He now occupies a pleasant and attractive home at 1595 North Church street, 
and there the proverbial hospitality of the family is enjoyed by a large circle 
of friends. 

In the year 1893 Mr. Hawver was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Fin- 
nity, a daughter of John and Elizabeth Finnity, natives of New York, who 
came to the prairie state in pioneer days. She was born July 6, 1868, the 
third of a family of five children, and in her infancy she lost her father. The 
mother passed away several years ago. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Hawver 
has been blessed with five children, two of whom are deceased. Those living 
are: Paul L., born December 23, 1893, who is a student in high school; Harold, 
who was born February 24, 1901, and is also attending school; and Helen Lu- 
cile, born May 10, 1906. Esther E., born in 1896, died in 1900 ; and Harry W., 
born in 1897, died in 1900. 

A careful study of the political situation led Mr. Hawver early in life to 
give his support to the democratic party on national issues, the principles of 
which he deems most conducive to the general welfare. In local politics, how- 
ever, he casts an independent vote, always supporting the best men and most 
desirable measures irrespective of party ties. He filled the office of tax col- 
lector for two years while residing in Piatt county and was also school director 
for a number of terms, the cause of education finding in him a stanch cham- 
pion. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both 
he and his wife hold membership in Grace Methodist Episcopal church, in the 
work of which both are actively and helpfully interested. He is now serving 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 55 

as steward of the church, and Mrs. Hawver belongs to the Foreign Missionary 
and Ladies Aid Societies. They have ever been guided by high and noble 
ideals, and in their lives have manifested those characteristics which make for 
the best citizenship in any community. 



JAMES W. SANDERS, M. D. 

Dr. James W. Sanders occupies a distinguished position as a specialist in 
the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, and yet has hardly 
reached the zenith of his powers. The ability which arises from broad ex- 
perience and continued study and research is his and has won him recognition 
not only in a liberal patronage but also in the honor accorded him by fellow 
members of the profession. 

Dr. Sanders was born in 1864, a son of Robert E. Sanders. The district 
schools of Sangamon county afforded him his early educational privileges, and 
he also spent one year in the Northern Indiana Normal School at Danville, 
Indiana. He engaged in teaching in the years 1884, 1885 and 1886, becoming 
teacher in the district adjoining the one in which his early education was ob- 
tained. He there remained for two years and also taught in the town school 
at Pawnee, Illinois. While there he made a specialty in careful instruction in 
penmanship and many attribute their good handwriting of the present time to 
his teaching. He made his way through college by his own labor and has never 
feared that earnest effort which is one of the concomitants of successful ac- 
complishment whether in the attainment of an education or of financial inde- 
pendence. For three years he was a student in Northwestern Medical College 
at Chicago, from which he was graduated with the class of 1889. He then 
opened an office in Windsor, Illinois, for general practice, but becoming inter- 
ested in the field which he now makes his specialty, he afterward pursued 
post-graduate work in the Chicago Polyclinic for the study of diseases of the 
eye, ear, nose and throat. On the 3d of January, 1893, he came to Decatur, 
where he has now resided for eighteen years. When he completed his medical 
course he had incurred an indebtedness of four hundred dollars, drawing in- 
terest at the rate of eight per cent. He bent every energy toward discharging 
this financial obligation, which was soon done. Today he has an extensive 
practice netting him an income of perhaps a thousand dollars per month. He 
has won distinction in his especial line, and is now president of the Eastern 
Illinois Ophthalmological and Otological Society and a member of the Decatur 
Medical Society, the Illinois State Medical Society and the American Medical 
Association. 

Dr. Sanders married Miss Ida M. Zink, a native of Illinois, and they now 
have one son, Robert Zink Sanders, who was born at No. 2335 Wabash avenue, 
Chicago, in January, 1886. After completing the high school course in De- 
catur, at the age of sixteen years he entered Millikin University and was grad- 
uated there at the age of twenty. He is now a junior in the College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons of Chicago, and is occupying responsible positions in con- 



56 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

nection with a number of distinguished members of the faculty of that school. 

Dr. Sanders is the owner of a valuable farm in Blue Mound township, 
where he has made an artificial lake fed by various springs. This he has stocked 
with fish of many kinds, and he finds great delight in here using the rod and 
line. With a forty horsepower automobile he quickly drives from Decatur to 
his farm, where he can not only indulge in fishing but also in hunting, for he 
has put considerable game upon the place. His son shares with him in these 
sports, for the Doctor believes in keeping the physical in good condition. He 
has developed a magnificent country home which has a picturesque situation, 
and will make one of the ideal estates of this part of Illinois. 

Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias. He has, however, 
comparatively little leisure for social or fraternal interests, owing to the heavy 
demands made upon his time and attention by a continually increasing prac- 
tice. He has a splendidly equipped office supplied with everything that is of 
practical value to his professional work, and the excellent results which have 
followed his labors prove him one of the most capable representatives of oph- 
thalmology, otology and laryngology in central Illinois. 



LINN & SCRUGGS DRY GOODS & CARPET COMPANY. 

Nothing indicates more clearly the growth of Decatur and of the surround- 
ing country, or gives more positive proof of the employment of progressive 
methods than the growth of the extensive house of Linn & Scruggs Dry Goods 
& Carpet Company — the leading dry goods emporium of Decatur. For forty- 
one years without interruption this house has continued in business and has 
set the standard among dry-goods enterprises in this city. The original part- 
ners were William H. Linn and W. R. Scruggs, the former from Belleville, 
Illinois, and the latter from New York. Coming to Decatur, they formed a 
partnership, and on the nth of October, 1869, began business at No. 24 Mer- 
chant street, under the firm style of Linn & Scruggs. They opened with a 
little line of dry goods, and from the beginning were accorded a liberal share 
of the public patronage. Their earnest efforts to please their customers, their 
reliable business methods and the attractive line of goods which they handled 
soon brought them an increased business, and in February, 1870, they removed 
to the old Condel & Stamper building, where they remained for a number of 
years. The continued development of their business, however, led to the re- 
moval in 1880 to the building which formerly stood on the site of the present 
store, and which was destroyed by fire in 1895. Phcenix-like, there arose the 
splendid structure which they now occupy and which is one of the leading busi- 
ness blocks of Decatur. 

The policy inaugurated at the beginning has always been maintained. The 
founders regarded honesty and fair dealing as the only sure principle of suc- 
cess. At the outset their floor space covered hardly two thousand square feet, 
and their stock was worth but five thousand dollars. Today they have twenty- 
five times the original space, their store including nearly fifty thousand square 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 57 

feet, while their merchandise is worth forty times the original stock, being 
valued at two hundred thousand dollars. This is not only the oldest established 
dry-goods business in Decatur, but in many respects has been the pioneer in 
innovations in merchandising, which today are considered among the actual 
necessities of service in a modern department store. It was the first Decatur 
store to make a feature of show windows; it inaugurated the first dry-goods 
delivery system; was the first to establish and maintain a pneumatic cash sys- 
tem; and the first store to establish passenger elevator service. 

While the original partners have passed from this life, the business has 
been conducted without interruption, the present officers being: T. J. Prentice, 
president; J. R. Holt, vice president; and W. S. Grubbs, secretary-treasurer. 
The first two are the owners of the business which came to them by purchase 
on the ist of February, 1907. Mr. Grubbs had been secretary and treasurer 
of the company for a long period and was so continued under the new man- 
agement. Mr. Holt and Mr. Prentice were both associated with the well known 
house of Scruggs, Vandervort & Barney, of St. Louis, of which Mr. Prentice 
was assistant secretary, while Mr. Holt held various positions in connection 
therewith. Under the new management the success of the business has in- 
creased beyond all expectations. Many improvements have been made, and the 
boulevard electric light system has been installed around the store, other mer- 
chants following their example in this regard. They have also established an 
automobile delivery system, and in fact employ every modern method to facili- 
tate the business and raise it at all times to the highest system of mercantile 
service. They employ from one hundred and eighty-five to two hundred and 
twenty-five people. The officers of the company are most enterprising and pro- 
gressive business men, of sound judgment and keen insight, with a genius for 
organization and marked executive ability. 



KIRBY BROTHERS. 



One would not attempt to write a complete history of Whitmore township 
without making prominent reference to the Kirby brothers, Grant, Richard and 
Lewis, who are numbered among the progressive farmers and stock-raisers, 
owning over four hundred acres of valuable land which has been brought under 
a high state of cultivation and is well improved with all of the equipment and 
accessories of the model farm of the twentieth century. There are two sets 
of buildings upon the place and an air of neatness and thrift pervades every- 
thing. Energy and determination are manifest in the transaction of the work 
and substantial results have followed. The brothers are all native sons of Illi- 
nois. 

Grant Kirby was born in St. Clair county on the 4th of October, 1867, and 
is one of a family of three sons and four daughters. Their father, Richard 
Kirby, a native of Delaware, was born in 1835 and was reared to manhood in 
that state. When a young man, he came west to Illinois, settling in St. Clair 
county. He there worked by the month as a farm hand for a time, but was 



58 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

ambitious that his labor should more directly benefit himself and later rented 
land which he cultivated for a number of years. He was married there to 
Sophronia Ruddock, a native of Illinois, born in St. Clair county. In the year 
1869 Mr. Kirby removed to Macon county and invested in property in Whit- 
more township, becoming the owner of one hundred and twenty acres, con- 
stituting the nucleus of the farm upon which his sons now reside. Slight im- 
provements had been made at that time, yet comparatively little had been done 
to convert the place into a productive and valuable farm. The father at once 
began to till the fields and cultivate crops adapted to the soil and climate, and 
year by year the work of improvement was carried forward. Prospering in 
his undertaking, so that his financial resources increased, he bought more land 
from time to time and became the owner of four hundred acres. There he 
erected a good residence, together with substantial barns and outbuildings, fur- 
nishing ample shelter for grain and stock. He became recognized not only as 
one of the well known, but also as one of the prosperous farmers of Macon 
county, and his business reliability as well as his energy gained for him the 
respect and good will of his fellowmen. He reared his family here and spent 
his last years on the farm, his death occurring November 23, 1904. Deep re- 
gret was felt when he was called away, for he had endeared himself to his 
fellowmen and everywhere he was spoken of in terms of high regard. His 
fellow townsmen had given expression of their faith in his progressive citizen- 
ship by electing and reelecting him to the office of supervisor, so that he served 
as a member of the Macon county board for a number of years. His widow 
survives and resides with her sons on the home farm. She, too, is widely 
known in this county and has a large circle of warm friends. The daughters 
of the family are: Anna, now the wife of Dr. Dixon, of Decatur; and Mamie, 
Sue and Dott, all at home. 

Grant Kirby, the eldest of the three sons, was reared upon the home farm 
which he assisted in cultivating to the time of his father's death, when the 
management and care of the property devolved upon him and his two brothers. 
His experiences had been practical, so that he was well qualified to assume the 
responsibility which came to him. On the 14th of September, 1887, he was 
married to Miss Mae Morrison, who was born and reared in Macon county and 
pursued her education in its public schools. Her father, Robert Morrison, was 
one of the early settlers who came from Pennsylvania. Following their mar- 
riage Mr. and Mrs. Grant Kirby began their domestic life on the farm where 
they still reside. They have become the parents of two daughters, Harriet 
Grace and Helen Alea. 

His brothers have ever been associated with Grant Kirby in farming opera- 
tions, and in 1906 they purchased two hundred acres of land adjoining the 
old homestead. They have erected a commodious and neat residence, which is 
built in modern style of architecture, and in fact is one of the most attractive 
and pleasing country homes of Macon county. They have also built two good 
barns upon the place, and there are large cribs and other outbuildings which 
are a matter of convenience in carrying on the farm work. The brothers are 
progressive business men who are making a specialty of raising and feeding 
hogs, cattle and horses, giving, perhaps, more attention to hogs and heavy draft 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 59 

horses. They raise some good stock, including pure blooded and high grade 
Poland-China hogs, feeding about two hundred head for the market each year. 
In business affairs relating to the farm and its management their judgment is 
sound and their discrimination keen, and whatever they undertake they carry 
forward to successful completion. 

The Kirby brother are identified with the democratic party but none of 
them is a politician in the usually accepted sense of office-seeking. They give 
their time and attention to the farm and business and are active and progres- 
sive in all of their work, keeping in touch with advanced methods of tilling the 
soil and raising the crops. Their labors have been attended with excellent suc- 
cess and they are numbered among the leading young men of Whitmore town- 
ship, their honorable, straightforward methods commending them to the confi- 
dence and good will of all with whom they are associated. Those who know 
them find them pleasant, genial and courteous, and these qualities have made 
them favorites in social circles. 



A. T. HILL. 



A. T. Hill, who passed away in Decatur in 1888, was one of the leading and 
influential men of the city during the thirty years of his residence here. He 
became a prominent factor in financial circles, being one of the founders and 
virtually establishing the institution which is now known as the National Bank 
of Decatur. His birth occurred in Virginia in 1818 and his early education was 
acquired in private schools in that state. He early manifested a fondness for 
reading and became a well educated, well informed man. After putting aside his 
text-books he accepted a position as clerk in a general store at Belleville, Illinois. 
The year 1856 witnessed his arrival in Decatur and from that time until the 
close of the Civil war he conducted a general mercantile establishment, selling 
out in 1865. He was one of the founders of the Decatur Bank, which he virtually 
established and placed upon a paying basis. It later became the Decatur Na- 
tional Bank and is now known as the National Bank of Decatur. He served 
as its president and was one of its largest stockholders until about the time of 
his demise. Earnest, discriminating study of each duty that devolved upon him 
and of each situation in which he was placed, brought him a keen, discriminating 
knowledge that enabled him to bring a ready and correct solution of the finan- 
cial problems which were presented to him. 

On the 6th of September, i860, at Randolph, New York, Mr. Hill was 
united in marriage to Miss Sarah D. Wilder, a daughter of Thomas and Han- 
nah (Dow) Wilder. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hill was born one son, Edward. In 
1861 they established their home at the corner of North Church street and 
West Prairie avenue — the corner facing what is now the beautiful First Presby- 
terian church, and there Mrs. Hill and her son and family still live. 

Mr. Hill was a republican in politics and took an active and helpful interest 
in all matters pertaining to the general welfare. In his capacity as alderman and 
mayor of Decatur he instituted many measures of reform and improvement and 
was also an efficient officer on the board of supervisors. The cause of public 



60 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

instruction found in him a stanch champion from the time he first came to 
Decatur and he did effective service in its behalf as a member of the board of 
education. His labors were a potent factor in the growth and development of 
Decatur and in his passing the city lost one of its most influential and respected 
citizens. He was liberal in religious views, ever ready to support all churches, 
but was not a member of any particular church. However he attended the serv- 
ices of both the First Presbyterian and Baptist churches and the high prin- 
ciples which actuated him were manifest in all the relations of life. 



JEROME R. GORIN. 

In 1833, the year following the Black Hawk war, a youth of sixteen years, 
Jerome R. Gorin arrived in Decatur, then a tiny village upon the western fron- 
tier. Long years passed before a colonist penetrated into this section of the 
country and before all of the land was taken up by actual settlers. It was almost 
twenty years later when the population of Decatur numbered only nine hun- 
dred, yet a start had been made and although the town was of slow growth for 
a decade or two, it was building upon substantial and permanent lines. From 
the beginning of his residence here Jerome R. Gorin took an active part in the 
work of public progress, helped to uphold the political and legal status of the 
community, to mold its commercial development and to promote its material and 
moral progress. His name is linked with those activities which figure as of 
worth on the pages of Decatur's history, and he came to an honored old age, 
having almost reached the eightieth milestone on life's journey when called to 
the home beyond. 

A native of Kentucky, Mr. Gorin was born in Hopkinsville, Christian county, 
October 12, 1817, his parents being John D. and Mattie (Thomas) Gorin, who 
belonged to an old Virginian family. John D. Gorin was born in the Old Do- 
minion but in his early youth went to the Blue Grass state with his parents and 
was there reared. In the spring of 1828 he came to Illinois, taking up his abode 
in Vandalia, then the capital city. His attention was given to both farming and 
merchandising and he was active and prominent among the early business men 
of that locality. He was also a leader of public affairs and for some years 
acted as receiver in the loan office. His death occurred in Vandalia, April 26, 
1846, when he was fifty-six years of age, while his wife reached the advanced 
age of eighty-nine years, her death occurring on the 13th of July, 1876. 

Jerome R. Gorin was reared amid the wild scenes and environments of pio- 
neer life, although perhaps with less of the hardships than came to many for his 
parents were in comfortable circumstances. It is a well known fact that nothing 
more clearly shows the character of the individual than the experiences of pio- 
neer life and the qualities of courage, determination, loyalty and entire absence 
of ostentation were early developed in Mr. Gorin. He was a self reliant young 
man, possessed laudable ambition when in 1833 he came to Decatur and joined 
his two older brothers who were then residents here. His brother, Henry M. 
Gorin, was for many years clerk of the court here but left the office in 1841. His 





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HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 63 

sister, Elvira, who had come to Decatur in 1830, married General Isaac Pugh 
and both she and her husband died here at an advanced age. 

Mr. Gorin made his entrance into business life in Decatur as a salesman but 
professional activity seemed more desirable and he spent two years in the study 
of law. In 1842 he was admitted to the bar upon passing an examination before 
Judge Treat and the following winter was spent in Scotland county, Missouri. 
At the end of that time, however, he returned to Decatur and formed a part- 
nership with Judge Charles Emerson. When that connection was severed he 
became a partner of Judge Kirby Benedict and later put aside the duties of pri- 
vate practice to enter public service, having been elected city clerk and attorney 
in i860 for a four years' term. He also filled the office of justice of the peace 
at one time and in the private practice of law was accorded a large and dis- 
tinctively representative clientage. His name figured in the court records in 
connection with many of the important cases tried in this district. His last law 
partner was Judge Arthur Gallagher, with whom he was associated until 1861, 
when he withdrew from the field of law and was thereafter a prominent factor 
in banking circles in Decatur. He accepted the cashiership of the bank of 
Millikin & Oder, acting in that capacity at the same time that he filled the office 
of city clerk and attorney. Four years later he became a partner in the bank, 
continuing to act as cashier until 1881, when he withdrew from that connection 
to become the senior partner of the firm of Gorin & Bills. They established 
a private bank and also a real-estate and loan department, carrying on busi- 
ness together for two years. Mr. Gorin then became one of the organizers 
and the president of the bank of Gorin & Dawson, conducting a successful busi- 
ness in that connection for several years when he sold out to L. B. Casner. A 
year later this institution was merged into the Citizens National Bank, with 
Mr. Gorin as one of its incorporators and its first president. A year later, 
however, he disposed of his interests and his remaining days were spent in hon- 
orable retirement from labor and business management. 

Mr. Gorin was married in Decatur, April 1, 1845, to Miss Eleanor D. Faw- 
cett, a native of Virginia and a daughter of Isaac and Rebecca Fawcett. The 
six children born unto them are: Mary Emma, the wife of C. C. Middleton, a 
resident of Dallas, Texas; Orville B., long associated with banking interests in 
Decatur; Ida E., the wife of W. C. Armstrong, of Decatur; Jerome P., a 
business man of New York city; Mattie A., of this city; and Henry Gladden, 
now of Minneapolis. 

Reared in the faith of the whig party, Mr. Gorin gave to it his stalwart sup- 
port until its dissolution, when he joined the ranks of the new republican party. 
Later, however, he became a prohibitionist, because of his attitude on the tem- 
perance question, believing it to be one of the paramount issues before the people. 
In 1856 he was elected as the republican candidate to the state legislature and 
while filling that position was made disbursing agent of the Fort Ridgely wagon 
road, which was being built for the government from St. Paul and Fort Ridgely 
to the Missouri river. During that period Mr. Gorin maintained an office in 
St. Paul but at the end of a year returned to Decatur. His interest in Masonry 
was never of a perfunctory character. He had firm faith in the basic principles 
of the order, recognizing the fact that the world would be better if all would 



64 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

recognize the brotherhood of mankind and the obligations imposed thereby. He 
joined Macon Lodge, No. 8, A. F. & A. M. on the 18th of October, 1841, and 
for a number of years prior to his death was the oldest and most honored mem- 
ber of that organization. He served as master of the lodge for seven years 
and was then elected grand master of the state. He also held membership in 
Macon Chapter, R. A. M., in which he served as high priest and in Beaumonoir 
Commandery, No. 9, K. T., of which he was eminent commander. In 1867 he 
was elected grand master of the grand lodge and in April, 1866, he joined the 
thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite in the consistory in Chicago. He be- 
came the founder of the commandery in Olney, Illinois, on the 19th of January, 
1865, and it was named Gorin Commandery in his honor. In various lines of 
Christian activity he was also a prominent figure and served almost continuously 
during his long connection therewith, as one of the officers of the First Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. He was thoroughly in sympathy with the organized 
work for the Christian instruction of the young, and not only did his labors 
prove effective in behalf of the local Sunday School Association but also in con- 
nection with the Sunday School Association of the state, which he served as 
president. He was likewise president of the County Sunday School Association 
and a member of its executive committee as well as a faithful worker in the 
Young Men's Christian Association. In all his Christian work he was ably as- 
sisted by his wife. Their married life was one of the closest harmony, each ever 
seeking the happiness of the other, and, therefore, their home life was of a most 
ideal character. The death of Mrs. Gorin occurred in 1894, while Mr. Gorin 
survived until the 1st of September, 1897. He was then almost eighty years 
of age and, with the exception of the first eleven years of his life the entire 
period was passed in Illinois. No one rejoiced more sincerely in the growth and 
upbuilding of the state. His activities touched the general interests of society 
in his work along material, fraternal, political and moral lines. 

Few men active in business have so closely followed the golden rule or kept 
themselves unspotted from the world. His family was always first with him 
but public interests were near his heart. He displayed keen discernment and 
a faculty for separating the important features of any subject from the inci- 
dental or accidental circumstances. Moreover, he preserved the precious prize 
of keen mentality to the closing hours of his life. It was of such a type of man 
that Victor Hugo wrote when he said "though the frost of winter was on his 
head, the flowers of spring were in his heart." 



JOSEPH N. LOVING. 

Joseph N. Loving is a retired attorney living in Decatur. He is also an 
honored veteran of the Civil war, and his loyalty to his country has even been 
one of his strongly marked characteristics. His birth occurred in east Tennes- 
see on Christmas day of 1842. His father, Garland Stephen Loving, a native 
of Virginia, was a farmer by occupation, and removed to Tennessee, where he 
was married to Euphemia Bowling, a native of that state. They remained 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 65 

residents of Tennessee for a number of years and then removed with their 
family in 1866 to Moultrie county, Illinois, where the death of the mother oc- 
curred on the 28th of February, 1895. She had long survived her husband who 
had died in Kentucky, January 14, 1875, while on a visit to a daughter in 
Pulaski county, that state. The Loving family is of Scotch lineage, and was 
founded in America by the grandfather of our subject, who was born in the 
land of hills and heather, and at an early period in the colonization of the new 
world crossed the Atlantic to become a resident of Virginia, where his remain- 
ing days were passed. The maternal grandfather was a native of Tennessee 
and there spent his entire life. In the family of Garland S. and Euphemia 
Loving there were eight children: James W., Margaret P., Benjamin F., 
Joseph N., Lurania Prudence, Rieta Catherine, George W. and John R. By 
a former marriage the father had three children, Ransom, William R. and 
Elizabeth J. 

The educational advantages afforded Joseph N. Loving were extremely 
limited, but nature endowed him with strong intellect and a retentive memory 
and by study at home he prepared for admission to the bar. He then entered 
upon the practice of law, to which he devoted twenty years, and was accorded 
a liberal patronage, while his work in the courts showed clear reasoning and 
logical deductions. His professional services, however, were interrupted by 
his enlistment as a soldier of the Civil war, and on the 29th of September, 1861, 
he became a member of Company E, Twelfth Regiment of Kentucky Volun- 
teers, joining the army in Clinton county, Kentucky. He remained with that 
command until honorably discharged, January 21, 1865, at Knoxville, Tennes- 
see, receiving final payment in Nashville, that state. He was wounded in the 
left ankle at the siege of Knoxville in 1863 and was sent to the hospital, where 
he remained for about a month. Following his recovery from his injuries, he 
acted as clerk in the general headquarters at Knoxville and was one of those 
chosen to guard the body of General Zollecoffer, who was killed at the battle 
of Fishing Creek, being the first Confederate general that fell in service. Mr. 
Loving also participated in the battles of Fort Donelson and Perryville, was 
in various skirmishes and had many trying experiences. After the war he re- 
turned to his home in Columbia, Adair county, Kentucky. 

Mr. Loving remained at home until he was forty-eight years of age. He 
was married in Springfield, Illinois, August 27, 1892, to Miss Mayme E. Snapp, 
a native of Coles county, Illinois. Her father, James M. Snapp, was born in 
Tennessee. Her grandfather came to Illinois during pioneer times and re- 
mained a resident of this state until his death. James M. Snapp followed farm- 
ing as a life work and on his removel to Coles county secured a tract of land, 
which he cultivated until his removal to Shelby county, Illinois, where his last 
days were passed. In early manhood he wedded Mary E. Keller, who was 
born in Coles county, where she spent the greater part of her life, although 
her death occurred when she was a resident of Shelby county, Illinois. Her 
father had settled in this state in pioneer times. He became a soldier and lost 
his life during the war. There were ten children in the family of James M. and 
Mary E. Snapp: America; George N.; Hepsibah; William and Jacob, both of 
whom are now deceased ; Charles ; James ; Frank ; Mayme E. ; and Thomas J. 



66 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Loving has been blessed with two children : 
Beulah M., who was born May 12, 1896, in Dal ton City, Illinois; and Vivian 
S., who was born in Dalton City, December 11, 1898. They also lost one 
child, Mildred P., who was born June 20, 1903, and died five years later. 

While living in Moultrie county, Mr. Loving filled the office of justice of 
the peace for fourteen years, proving a capable official, whose decisions were 
strictly fair and impartial. He also served as collector. He belongs to I. C. 
Pugh Post, G. A. R., No. 481, at Dalton City, and he and his family are mem- 
bers of the First Methodist Episcopal church of Decatur. They have resided 
in this city continuously since 1905, and are widely and favorably known here. 
Mr. Loving gives his political allegiance to the democracy, but was formerly 
a republican. However, he has largely voted independently, casting his ballot 
for the candidates whom he regards as best qualified for office. He is widely 
and favorably known in Decatur and Macon county and is held in high esteem 
by all with whom business or social relations have brought him in contact. 



GUY CLARK HECKEL. 

Guy Clark Heckel, one of the enterprising and representative young agri- 
culturists of Long Creek township, makes his home on section 14, where he is 
successfully engaged in the tilling of the soil and the raising of stock. His 
birth occurred in that township on the 24th of July, 1880, his parents being 
Charles A. and Ella (Clark) Heckel. The paternal grandfather, John Joseph 
Heckel, was born in Erfurt, Germany, on the 4th of May, 1810. He was 
educated at the celebrated Wittenberg University, became master of several 
languages, and all his life was a student and thinker. After serving for three 
years in the Prussian army he emigrated to the United States, settling in Long 
Creek township, Macon county, Illinois, about 1834. He located upon a small 
tract of rough land, which he gradually brought under a high state of culti- 
vation, becoming one of the prosperous agriculturists of the community. The 
period of his residence in this county covered almost six decades, for he passed 
away here on the 6th of February, 1892, when eighty-two years of age. On 
the 3d of May, 1840, he had wedded Miss Elizabeth Hanks, whose birth oc- 
curred in Hardin county, Kentucky, April 23, 1822. She was a second cousin 
to Abraham Lincoln and a playmate of the future president in his early boy- 
hood. Her demise occurred just four days prior to that of her husband. 

Charles A. Heckel, the father of Guy Clark Heckel, is numbered among 
the worthy native sons of Macon county, having been born in Long Creek town- 
ship in May, 1849. He has carried on general agricultural pursuits through- 
out his entire business career and is widely recognized as a prominent farmer 
and leading resident of that township. He is a well educated man, and for ten 
years preached the gospel as a minister of the Christian church. His wife, 
who bore the maiden name of Ella Clark, is a native of Ohio and a daughter 
of Milton and Sarah A. (Lee) Clark. Her mother was distantly related to the 
prominent and famous Lee family of Virginia. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 67 

Guy Clark Heckel, whose name introduces this review, obtained his early 
education in the public schools and afterward attended successively the college 
at Eureka, Lincoln University and the University of Lexington, Kentucky, 
being graduated from the last named institution with the class of 1900. The 
degree of Bachelor of Arts was conferred upon him when he attained his ma- 
jority. He followed the insurance business for two years, but on the expira- 
tion of that period returned to this county and became identified with agricul- 
tural interests. The pursuits of farming and stock-raising have since claimed 
his attention and have returned to him a gratifying annual income. He has 
devoted his energies principally to the raising of horses, and is gradually ex- 
tending his operations in this direction. He recognizes the need of larger and 
stronger horses for farm work, keeps Percheron stock and intends to purchase 
a large Belgian sire. He lives on his grandmother's farm of two hundred and 
eighty acres on section 14, Long Creek township, and as an agriculturist has 
already won a measure of success that entitles him to recognition among the 
substantial citizens of the community. 

On the 16th of February, 1905, Mr. Heckel was united in marriage to Miss 
Mabel Baker, of Long Creek township, her parents being C. H. and Elizabeth 
(Williamson) Baker, natives of Ohio. Her father is a well known farmer 
here. 

In politics Mr. Heckel is independent, supporting men and measures rather 
than party. For one term he ably discharged the duties devolving upon him 
in the capacity of township collector. He is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to Lodge No. 426 at Casner, and is likewise 
identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Kappa Sigma, a 
college fraternity. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the 
Methodist church and he now acts as superintendent of its Sunday school. Mr. 
and Mrs. Heckel are people of the highest respectability and have a host of 
warm friends throughout the county. 



EVERETT J. BROWN, M. D. 

For more than twenty years Dr. Everett J. Brown has engaged in active 
practice at Decatur. By diligent attention to his profession he has built up a 
practice which extends all over central Illinois and has acquired a reputation 
in his profession which is not confined to the limits of the state. The respect 
in which he is held by his brethren is shown by the fact that at the present 
time he occupies the position of treasurer of the Illinois State Medical Society 
and is ex-president of the Decatur Medical Society. These honors came with- 
out solicitation on his part and as a just recognition of one who has devoted his 
life to the alleviation of the ills of humanity. Dr. Brown comes well by the 
talents which have gained him his present honorable position. His father, Josiah 
Brown, was for thirty years a leading physician of Decatur and the mantle 
which he gracefully wore rests easily on the shoulders of his son. 



68 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Dr. Josiah Brown was born at Witby, Canada, July 24, 1827, and was a son 
of Abraham and Bethsheba Brown, descendants of Quaker parentage of New 
England. Early in life he decided to become a physician and all his studies 
were pursued with that object in view. The death of his father when the boy 
was twelve years of age threw him largely upon his own resources. But after 
acquiring the necessary funds by teaching school, he matriculated at the Augusta 
Medical College, Georgia, then one of the leading medical colleges of the coun- 
try, and, after graduation, began practice at Gaylesville, Alabama. There he 
was married to Miss Sarah E. Brown. Removing to Illinois, the Doctor lived 
for two years at Maroa and then settled permanently at Decatur in 1859. He 
departed this life May 6, 1889, sincerely mourned by the entire community. 
He was a Mason, a republican, a member for more than twenty-five years of 
the Presbyterian church and an able and successful physician. His widow is 
still living. Six children were born to Dr. and Mrs. Brown: two children of 
whom died in infancy; Minnie S., who died in 1881 at the age of eighteen 
years; Warren, a practicing physician of Tacoma, Washington; Everett J., 
whose name appears at the head of this biography , and Frederick A., a practicing 
lawyer of Chicago. 

Everett J. Brown is a native of Decatur, born January 20, 1865. He was 
educated in the public schools and graduated from the Decatur high school at 
the age of eighteen, in 1883. He studied medicine under his father and also 
in the medical department of the Northwestern University of Chicago, grad- 
uating in 1888. He was interne at the Cook County Hospital in 1888-9, an d took 
a post-graduate course of six months in the general hospital at Vienna, Austria, 
in 1898. He again took a post-graduate course in the New York Polyclinic and 
Post Graduate Hospital and in 1908 visited Europe a second time to become 
acquainted with the most advanced ideas of the leading minds on medicine and 
surgery. Few men, as indicated above, have ever shown a greater interest in 
their chosen calling and no pains or time have been spared in the effort to solve 
the difficult problems that face the physician in his daily practice. 

Since 1889 Dr. Brown has been actively engaged in practice in the town 
where he was born, except when pursuing advanced studies in New York city 
or Europe. He makes a specialty of internal medicine and is associated with 
Dr. Cecil M. Jack, under the firm name of Brown & Jack, his biography ap- 
pearing elsewhere in this volume. The practice of the firm increased so rapidly 
during the last few years that larger accommondations became necessary and a 
handsome building was erected on West Prairie avenue opposite the Young 
Men's Christian Association, into which the firm moved in July, 1910. Here 
fourteen rooms are occupied, consisting of office and reception rooms, consul- 
tation rooms, laboratories, operating rooms, X-Ray room, dressing rooms and 
every possible requirement that modern minds have devised for the reception 
and treatment of patients. These offices and accessories are conceded to be 
among the finest and most complete that are to be desired and visitors are sur- 
prised at the facilities there available. The reputation of Dr. Brown has made 
his services in demand all over central Illinois as consultant in many cases re- 
quiring the best skill possible to secure. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 69 

D. Brown has been twice married. His first marriage was with Rebecca 
C. Brown of Jacksonville, Illinois, in October, 1891. Mrs. Brown departed this 
life February 22, 1906. Three children were born of the union : Rebecca Alice, 
Lloyd and Everett Anson. On the 1st of October, 1908, Dr. Brown was united 
in marriage to Miss Jane Jack of Peoria, Illinois. One son, Francis Jack Brown, 
is the result of this union. 

Dr. Brown is a member of the Presbyterian church, as was his father be- 
fore him, and also belongs to the American Medical Association, the Illinois 
State Medical Society, the Mississippi Valley Medical Society, the Tri-State Med- 
ical Society and the Decatur Medical Society. Although his extensive practice 
makes heavy demands on his time and strength, he holds membership in the 
University Club of Chicago and in the Decatur and Country Clubs of Decatur. 
He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, whose principles of fidelity to 
promise and friendship in time of need he has many times exemplified. 

The Doctor is a living example of the beneficient effect of right education 
and high ideals in the development of a useful and helpful career. In a strik- 
ing degree we see here exemplified the refining influence of the home and the 
inviting field which is open in a free commonwealth to those who are rightly 
prepared and capable of bearing its honors. The position which has been at- 
tained by Dr. Brown has not come by chance but has called for years of patient 
study and faithful performance of duty as it appeared from day to day. No 
one knows this better than the practicing physician who gives a large part of 
his time to patients from whom he can expect small financial recompense or 
none at all. Yet he gives as freely and as conscientiously in such cases as if 
the patient were in the most affluent circumstances. Dr. Brown has endeared 
himself to people in all walks of life by his courteous manners, his liberality in 
support of all worthy causes and his skill in his profession. Hence he is usually 
recognized in central Illinois as among its most desirable citizens. 



JOHN W. BOWERS. 



John W. Bowers, a representative and successful agriculturist of Long Creek 
township, is the owner of two hundred acres of valuable land on section 28, 
known as the Springwood Stock Farm. His birth occurred in Washington county, 
Illinois, on the 30th of April, 1867, his parents being James J. and Jane E. 
(Carpenter) Bowers, both of whom were natives of Kentucky. The father 
was born in 1822, while the mother's birth occurred in the year 1830. They 
took up their abode among the early settlers of Washington county, Illinois, 
in 1845. James J. Bowers carrying on general agricultural pursuits as a means 
of livelihood. He passed away in 1874, while his wife was called to her final 
rest in 1909. 

John W. Bowers attended the public schools in the acquirement of an edu- 
cation and after putting aside his text-books began working as a farm hand. He 
had no financial assistance at the beginning of his career but possessed plenty 
of energy and determination and these qualities have enabled him to gradually 



70 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

advance toward the goal of prosperity. In 1888 he removed to Piatt county and 
there resided continuously until 1894. On coming to Long Creek township, 
Macon county, he purchased and located upon an improved farm of two hundred 
acres on section 28. Here he has carried on his agricultural interests continuously 
since and in connection with the tilling of the soil he also devotes considerable 
attention to the raising of stock, making a specialty of full blooded Hereford 
cattle and Poland China hogs. The property is known as the Springwood Stock 
Farm and is well improved in every particular, its neat and thrifty appearance 
indicating the supervision of a practical and progressive owner. Mr. Bowers, 
has thorough knowledge of both farming and stock-raising and is justly en- 
titled to a place among the leading and substantial agriculturists of the community. 

On the 19th of August, 1897, Mr. Bowers was united in marriage to Miss 
Lulu Kinser, a daughter of Lewis and Amanda (Turpin) Kinser, who were born 
in Ohio and Illinois respectively. The father was an early settler and promi- 
nent farmer of Mount Zion township, this county. Mr. and Mrs. Bowers now 
have five children, namely : Lucetta May, Florence, Ira John, Oliver, and 
Edith Jewel. 

Politically Mr. Bowers is a prohibitionist, being a firm advocate of the 
temperance cause. At local elections, however, he casts an independent ballot, 
supporting the candidate whom he believes best qualified for the office in ques- 
tion. In religious faith he is a Methodist. His aid and cooperation can be 
counted upon to further every movement calculated to benefit the community, 
and he and his estimable wife are held in high regard by their many friends. 



JAMES B. AUSTIN. 



James B. Austin, who has lived in honorable retirement at Maroa since 1892, 
came to Macon county in 1856 and was for many years successfully identified 
with agricultural interests here. His birth occurred in Greene county, Ohio, on 
the 29th of April, 1829. His father, Jonathan Austin, was born in New Jersey 
on the 15th of December, 1799. The paternal grandparents of our subject were 
Abel and Prudence Austin, who left New Jersey with their family and jour- 
neyed to Ohio, residing in that state throughout the remainder of their lives. 
The grandfather first took up land in Warren county, Ohio, but later removed 
to Greene county. Jonathan Austin, the father of James B. Austin, purchased 
land in Illinois in association with our subject but never came to this state, pass- 
ing away in Ohio on the 20th of April, 1874. His children were four in num- 
ber, as follows: Justin, a resident of Ohio; Harry, whose demise occurred 
in that state; John, living in Dayton, Ohio; and James B., of this review. 

The last named remained under the parental roof until twenty-one years of 
age, assisting his father in the operation of the old home farm. He was mar- 
ried on attaining his majority and for about six years following that important 
event in his life he resided in Bellbrook, Ohio, following the profession of 
teaching. In 1856 he came direct to Macon county, Illinois, locating on a farm 




VL M 




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HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 75 

of three hundred and twenty acres which he had purchased in association with 
his father. He at once began the further cultivation and improvement of the 
tract of one hundred and sixty acres which was his share and there carried on 
his agricultural interests continuously until 1892, when he put aside the active 
work of the fields in order that he might the more thoroughly enjoy the com- 
petence which his well directed labor had brought him. Purchasing a lot in 
Maroa, he erected a commodious and attractive residence thereon and has made 
his home therein for the past eighteen years. He still retains his farm of one 
hundred and sixty acres and likewise owns two lots in the town of Maroa. 

On the 4th of July, 1850, in Bellbrook, Ohio, Mr. Austin was united in 
marriage to Miss Phoebe Ann Dunham, a daughter of Jonas and Rachel Dun- 
ham, who were born in New Jersey. Mr. and Mrs. Austin were the parents 
of four children, namely: Charles, who is a resident of Allen county, Kansas; 
Mrs. Alice Rogers, who passed away in 1908 ; Frank, who lives with his father ; 
and Mrs. Anna Wendling, whose demise occurred in 1907. The wife and mother 
was called to her final rest on the 6th of April, 1902. 

In politics Mr. Austin is a stanch republican and his fellow townsmen, rec- 
ognizing his worth and ability, have called him to several positions of public 
trust. He has served as justice of the peace, has likewise acted in the capacity 
of assessor and was a school trustee. Fraternally he is identified with the 
Masons, belonging to Maroa Lodge, No. 454, A. F. & A. M. He has now 
passed the eighty-first milestone on life's journey and his career has ever been 
such that he can look back over the past without regret and forward to the future 
without fear. Macon county has been his home for fifty-four years and the 
circle of his friends here is a wide one. 



JAMES F. STEELE. 



Among those whose deeds of valor have found place in the military his- 
tory of Illinois is James F. Steele, of Decatur. His record cannot fail to prove 
of interest to the readers of this volume, for he is widely known in the city 
where he makes his home and in which he has a circle of friends almost co- 
extensive with the circle of his acquaintances. 

He was born in Springfield, Ohio, September 21, 1842, and in the paternal 
line comes of Irish ancestry. His grandfather was a native of Ireland, and on 
coming to America made his home in Bloomington, Illinois, with his daughter 
until called to his final rest at the very venerable age of ninety-seven years. 
His wife was seventy-two years of age at the time of her demise. Their son, 
Samuel Steele, was born in Virginia on the 19th of March, 1808, and in his 
boyhood days accompanied his parents on their removal from the Old Domin- 
ion to Pennsylvania, whence later the family went to Madison county, Ohio. 
It was in that county that he was married to Miss Prudence Fisher, who was 
born in 1801. Her parents were natives of Pennsylvania and removed from 
the Keystone state to Ohio at an early period in the development of the latter 
state. There Mr. Fisher died at the age of ninety-nine years, while his wife 



76 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

passed away at the age of seventy-two years. Following their marriage Sam- 
uel and Prudence (Fisher) Steele established their home in Springfield, Ohio, 
where they remained until 1857, when they came to Decatur, Illinois, here 
spending the residue of their days. The father died in June, 1877, and was 
laid to rest in the Decatur cemetery. For about eleven years he had survived 
his wife, who passed away in June, 1866. They had three sons who were sol- 
diers in the Civil war, George R., Joseph and James. 

Spending his youthful days in his parents' home in Ohio, James F. Steele 
attended the common schools of that state until he accompanied his parents on 
their removal to Illinois. After living for a short time at Bloomington, they 
came to Decatur. The father was a carpenter by trade and James F. Steele 
served an apprenticeship under him. He was learning the trade under the 
direction of his father when the Civil war broke out and President Lincoln 
issued his first call for troops. 

Mr. Steele had watched with interest the progress of events in the South, 
and his patriotic spirit was aroused at the attempt of the Confederacy to over- 
throw the Union. Although but eighteen years of age at the time, he at once 
offered his services to the government and enlisted on the 16th of April, 1861 — 
when the smoke from Fort Sumter's guns had scarcely cleared away. He was 
mustered in at Springfield as a private of Company B, Eighth Illinois Infantry, 
for three months' service, for at that time it was the general belief that the 
war would soon be over. From Camp Yates the regiment was ordered to 
Cairo, where it remained doing camp duty until the expiration of the term of 
enlistment. Mr. Steele, however, at once reenlisted on the 14th of August and 
again became a member of the Eighth Illinois regiment for three years' serv- 
ice. A contemporary biographer concerning Mr. Steele's military experience 
has written: "The regiment remained at Cairo until late in the fall, when it 
was ordered to Bird's Point, from there to Norfolk, where it made camp and 
remained for some time, and then returned to Bird's Point and went into win- 
ter quarters. On the 2d of February, 1862, the regiment embarked at Cairo 
and moved up the Tennessee to Fort Henry with General Grant's forces, where 
they disembarked and the first night Mr. Steele was placed on picket duty. It 
rained all night and he had to stand on logs to keep out of the water. In the 
morning they broke camp and started for the fort, making a detour of some 
six miles. In this march mountain streams were waded from knee to waist 
deep with a swift current. When he reached the fort he exchanged his wet 
uniform clothes for a citizens' suit, which he wore all through the Fort Donel- 
son campaign, where he was actively engaged in an assault of that fort, being 
then in the First Brigade, McClernand's Division. On the arrival at the fort 
the Eighth had some skirmishing with the rebel pickets, and then formed in 
lines around the fort. The following night Mr. Steele was sent out as one 
of the pickets with instructions not to fire unless he saw the enemy advancing. 
The weather at first was pleasant, but before the siege was over it grew cold, 
rained, snowed and became very bad, and the soldiers suffered terribly, as they 
were not allowed any fire. What sleep the men had was secured in a standing 
position. Friday was spent mostly in skirmishing and maneuvering. On Sat- 
urday morning the enemy made an assault on the lines but were repulsed, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 77 

which brought on a general engagement around the entire line, in which the 
Eighth lost severely. This was the first active fight Mr. Steele had been in, 
and his fighting metal was severely tested. His regiment was changed from 
the right to the left and was under W. H. L. Wallace. Late in the day they 
received rations for the first time in two days. Night closed in with the enemy 
unsubdued and the Union troops rested on their arms. Early Sunday morning 
the white flag was seen to float from the enemy's works. Fort Donelson sur- 
rendered and the Union forces took possession of the work and remained in 
camp for a time and then marched to Fort Henry, where they embarked for 
Savannah, thence proceeded to Pittsburg Landing and went into camp about 
half a mile from Shiloh church. There Mr. Steele lay with his regiment until 
he was unexpectedly called out by the long roll, crossed the road leading to 
Corinth and formed in line of battle to the left in the edge of the timber, where 
they remained for a while with the bullets of the enemy passing over them 
from the fighting in front. They moved down and then opened fire; shortly 
the front line fell back and Mr. Steele with fifty of his regiment were left 
alone. They soon fell back but with lines badly broken, while the enemy's 
lines were intact. They soon formed, however, and checked the advance of 
the rebels, getting behind a road fence where they made a stubborn resistance 
and did some gallant fighting. His regiment was now consolidated with the 
Eighteenth Illinois, having about one hundred and fifty men, and were com- 
manded by General Lieb. They charged the enemy and captured two guns. 
They lay on their arms during the entire night in a heavy rain, had had noth- 
ing to eat since the night before, having gone into action in the morning be- 
fore breakfast. The next morning Buell's army passed them and soon opened 
the battle which relieved Mr. Steele and his command from active duty. Soon 
after the battle he was taken ill, which illness developed into typhoid fever. 
He was conveyed to a hospital tent, where he was left for a time, and then 
placed on board of a hospital boat which took him to Quincy. There he re- 
mained until he was able to be moved, when his father came and took him 
home to Decatur. He rejoined his regiment in July at Jackson, Tennessee. 
From there the regiment was ordered to Toons Station to guard the railroad, 
where it remained until it was ordered on the Tallahatchie campaign. It was 
found that Mr. Steele was unfit for active duty with his company on account 
of lingering illness, and he was detailed for duty in the quartermaster's depart- 
ment of McPherson's corps. He remained in this service until he was cap- 
tured at Holly Springs, December 20, 1862, by Van Dorn's forces with all the 
stores at that place. There was no defense made. A few companies of the 
Second Illinois Cavalry under Major McPherson got out with little loss. Mr. 
Steele was paroled, sent to Memphis and from there to Benton Barracks, spend- 
ing a portion of the time under parole at Decatur, but reporting every two 
weeks at parole camp. He finally received permission to go home and report 
by letter every ten days. He remained at home until June 20, 1863, when he 
went to Benton Barracks and from there was sent to Vicksburg, thence up 
the Yazoo, arriving at their point of destination on the evening of July 3. 
Cannonading was still going on when they landed but had ceased before they 
were unloaded, by reason of the flag of truce raised on the enemy's works. On 



78 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

the morning of July 4, Mr. Steele rode into Vicksburg with General McPher- 
son's staff officers. August 1st he was assigned to duty by Colonel Coolbaugh 
as agent of the railroad at Big Black, where his duties were about the same as 
an agent in the civil service. He remained on duty there until June 1st, when 
the government abandoned the road and he was ordered to report to General 
McPherson's headquarters, then at Big Shanty, Georgia, and was detailed in 
the mail service, carrying mail from Chattanooga to the general's headquarters. 
He continued in this mail service until the death of McPherson, and then 
brought his horse as far as Louisville and was there ordered to report to the 
regiment at Vicksburg. He waited there for a time for the regiment and then 
intercepted it and was mustered out August 15, 1864, by reason of expiration 
of term of service. His next move was to Natchez, where he engaged with a 
sutler for a time and then went to New Orleans." 

When the war was over and the country no longer needed his aid, Mr. 
Steele returned to Decatur, in June, 1865, and has since made his home in this 
city. On the 16th of October, 1870, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary 
Ganley, of this city, who was born in Ireland. They became the parents of 
one child, Stasia. 

The rigors and hardships of war greatly undermined Mr. Steele's health, 
and since 1882 the government has given him a pension. His political views 
have ever been in accord with the principles of the republican party, and on the 
6th of April, 1910, he was elected to the position of town clerk of Decatur, in 
which capacity he is now acceptably serving. On the 18th of April, 1866, he 
became a member of Original Post, No. 1, G. A. R. This organization ceased 
to exist in 1869, and in 1888 he joined Dunham Post, with which he is now 
identified. In 1893 he was elected senior vice commander and thus served for 
a year. He was afterward elected commander for a year and served as officer 
of the day for four years. He was then chosen to the position of adjutant 
and has acted in that capacity for a long period, being the present incumbent. 
He is very popular and prominent among his fellow members of the Grand 
Army post and throughout the community is known as a genial gentleman, 
whose many sterling characteristics have won him the high regard of all with 
whom he has come in contact. During his long residence in Decatur he has 
become widely known, and all speak of him in terms of high regard. 



JOHN W. DUVALL. 

Indomitable energy and unfaltering perseverance, when guided by careful, 
conservative management of business affairs, seldom fail in the acquirement of 
success, and such has been the record of John W. Duvall. Self-made and almost 
wholly self-educated, he has, during the years of his active connection with 
business interests, worked his way forward until today he is ranked among the 
most substantial and prosperous residents of Whitmore township. One of Ohio's 
native sons, he was born in Belmont county on the 14th of July, 1848, and 
is a son of Elihu Duvall, who, although born in Pennsylvania, was reared in 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 79 

the Buckeye state, to which his parents had removed in his early childhood. The 
family home was established in Belmont county, and there he grew to manhood 
and was married. For some years he was identified with agricultural pursuits 
in that locality and then, in 1857, came to Illinois, making permanent location 
in Macon county. The winter of that year was spent in Decatur, and in 1858 
the family took up their abode in Whitmore township, where the father was 
engaged in operating a rented farm for a few years. Later he purchased eighty 
acres of wild prairie land, which formed the nucleus of what later became the 
Duvall homestead. Bending his efforts to its development and improvement, 
it was not long before he had converted the tract into productive fields which 
he continued to cultivate until his death, which occurred in 1863. He was long 
survived by his wife who, in her maidenhood, was Castary Jones, a native of Ohio. 

Coming to Macon county as a lad of nine years, John W. Duvall has, there- 
fore, spent almost his entire life within its borders. The educational privileges 
afforded him were limited to those offered by the district schools of that day, 
which he attended during the winter months, but it is principally to his later read- 
ing and observation that he owes his present broad and comprehensive knowl- 
edge. His early practical training, however, was not neglected, and in the fields 
and about the home farm he spent the seasons of vacation, becoming familiar 
with the tasks that usually fall to the country lad. Amid the busy activities 
of rural life he also learned many lessons concerning the value of industry, 
perseverance and integrity, and the wholesome environment of the farm was 
conductive to a healthy growth and the acquirement of good habits. He con- 
tinued to live on the old homestead, to which he succeeded at the time of his 
father's demise and in the cultivation of which he has since been engaged. From 
time to time, as fortune favored, he invested in more property adjoining the 
original farm on the east, and is today the owner of two hundred and eighty 
acres of rich and valuable land. In 1904 he erected a neat, up-to-date residence 
equipped with all of the most modern improvements including furnace heat, 
gas light and hot and cold running water and surrounded by a neat lawn in- 
closed within an iron fence. He also has built substantial barns and commodious 
outbuildings, and well kept fences protect his fields. In fact the farm is one of 
the best tilled and highly improved properties in the township and stands as a 
monument to a life of well directed effort and intelligently applied labor. Till- 
ing the soil, however, has not been his only vocation, for he has given consider- 
able time and attention to successful stock-raising interests, raising and feed- 
ing cattle, hogs and horses. He makes a specialty of hogs and horses, and the 
superior quality of his stock commands ready sales and good prices on the 
market. 

It was in 1882 that Mr. Duvall was united in marriage to Miss Alice Vulga- 
mott, who was born and reared in Macon county and is a daughter of John 
Vulgamott, a native of Ohio. She passed away in March, 1899, and was laid to 
rest in Union cemetery. Besides her husband, seven children survived to mourn 
her loss, three sons and four daughters, as follows : J. W., Jr., a business man of 
Decatur; Dollie, at home, who took the census of Friends Creek township in 
1910; Nellie, who is keeping house for her father; Fay, who received thorough 



80 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

comprehensive training in the State Normal School and is now engaged in teach- 
ing in Macon county ; Wilbur, Anna and Russell E., all at home. 

Mr. Duvall is a member of the Argenta Presbyterian church, as was also his 
wife, and in the public life of the community he has been a prominent figure. 
A stanch advocate of the principles of the republican party, he has voted for 
every presidential nominee on that ticket since casting his first vote for General 
U. S. Grant. His standing among his fellow citizens is indicated by the fact 
that he has again and again been called to accept public office, serving on the 
township board as assessor for four consecutive years and as township trustee 
for six years. In 1910 he was elected supervisor of the township and is now 
filling that position. He has served on the petit jury, has been sent as delegate 
to various county conventions, has served for years as township committeeman 
and is now a member of the committee on roads and bridges. That he is a stal- 
wart champion of the cause of education is indicated by the fact that he has been 
identified with the schools of the county as director for the past twenty years. 
The same qualities which made him a successful business man have character- 
ized his public service and the promptness and thoroughness with which he has 
fulfilled the duties of each office in which he has served have won him the 
approval and commendation of every citizen, regardless of party ties. Public- 
spirited and progressive in his citizenship, no measure or movement which has 
for its object the material, political, intellectual or moral development and up- 
building of the community lacks his hearty cooperation. 

A long residence in Macon county has made J. W. Duvall widely and favor- 
ably known to a large circle of friends which is almost coextensive with the circle 
of his acquaintances, and he is recognized as one of the most progressive, sub- 
stantial and successful business men of the locality. His personal traits of char- 
acter are such as speak for valuable and desirable citizenship in any community, 
and in both public and private life by the consensus of public opinion he has 
been tried and not found wanting. 



LEONARD A. WAGONER. 

Leonard A. Wagoner is one of the well known farmers and stock-raisers 
of Oakley township, owning and cultivating a tract of land of one hundred 
and sixty acres on section 6 and also an equal amount on section 7. He also 
has another tract of eighty acres on section 6, his possessions therefore ag-' 
gregating four hundred acres. He is numbered among the early settlers of 
this part of Illinois in that he has been a resident of Macon county since 1865. 
He was born in Carroll county, Indiana, July 16, 1853, and is a son of John 
Wagoner, who was born in the Hoosier state and was there married to Miss 
Barbara Blickenstaff, who removed to Indiana from Ohio. The father was a 
farmer in Carroll county, thus providing for the support of his family, which 
included three children. Subsequently he removed to Iowa, but soon returned 
to Indiana, and in 1865 came to Macon county, subsequently settling upon the 
farm where his son Leonard now resides. He cultivated this place for a num- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 81 

ber of years and the family was reared on the home farm. Following her 
husbands' death, Mrs. Wagoner removed to Cerro Gordo, where she spent her 
last years, dying there about 1904. In the family were four sons and two 
daughters : Leonard A. ; Daniel, now living in Indiana ; Noah, who reached 
mature years and was married but is now deceased; Isaiah, living in Idaho; 
Katie, the wife of John M. Shibely, of Long Beach, California; and Amanda, 
the wife of J. B. Metzger, of Cerro Gordo. 

Leonard A. Wagoner was reared on the old home farm, having been a 
resident of Macon county from the age of twelve years. He remained with 
his mother until he had attained his majority and largely assisted her in the 
work incident to the development and improvement of the place. He was mar- 
ried in Cerro Gordo township, in 1882, to Miss Martha Miser, who was born 
in Indiana but was reared in Illinois. Following his marriage, he purchased 
seventy acres of land in Long Creek township and turned his attention to its 
cultivation. He made some improvements upon that place and continued to 
till the fields for nine years. He then sold out and returned to the old home- 
stead. He began here with one hundred and twenty acres, which he brought 
under a high state of cultivation and improved with modern equipments. From 
time to time he has added to this property until he now owns four hundred 
acres, all of which is fine farm land. It responds readily to the care and labor 
which he bestows upon it, and his property is now one of the excellent farms 
of this part of the county. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Wagoner have been born two sons and two daughters : 
William, who is cultivating his father's place of one hundred and sixty acres 
on section 7; David B., who was educated at Mount Morris, Illinois, and aids 
in carrying on the home farm ; Ida May, at home ; and Cora Fay. Both daugh- 
ters were also educated at Mount Morris. Another daughter, Dora, died at 
the age of fifteen months and one daughter in infancy. In his political views 
Mr. Wagoner is a republican but has never sought or desired office. His re- 
ligious faith is that of the Church of the Brethren and his membership is in 
the Brick church. He has been a resident of the county for forty-five years 
and is numbered among its active and prosperous citizens, possessing good busi- 
ness ability and at all times enjoying the confidence and esteem of his fellow- 
men because his business activity balances up with the principles of truth and 
honor. 



OSCAR B. CROSS. 



Oscar B. Cross, who was elected overseer of the poor of Macon county on 
the 20th of October, 1910, has already proven himself well fitted for the posi- 
tion. His birth occurred in Christian county, Illinois, on the 13th of June, 
1858, his parents being J. Wilson and Sarah A. (Hurst) Cross, both of whom 
are deceased. They passed away in Christian county, the father dying on the 
24th of September, 1909, while the mother was called to her final rest in 1894. 
They reared a family of seven children, five of whom are yet living, as fol- 
lows: Mrs. D. J. Cartwright, who is a resident of Blue Mound township, this 



82 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

county; Mrs. Mary M. Duff, of Sangamon county; Oscar B., of this review; 
Mrs. A. E. McMillan, likewise of Blue Mound township; and L. T., who fol- 
lows farming in Harristown township, Macon county. 

Oscar B. Cross was reared to manhood on the farm where his birth oc- 
curred and attended the district schools in the acquirement of an education. 
He came to Decatur in August, 1892, and on the 20th of June of the following 
year was appointed patrolman under Mayor D. C. Moffitt. He served as an 
efficient officer of the police department until December 6, 1910, when he was 
suspended by the present mayor, C. M. Borchers. As police officer he served 
continuously under the following mayors : D. C. Moffitt, D. H. Lehman Conk- 
lin, B. Z. Taylor, G. W. Stadler, C. F. Shilling, E. F. G. W. McDonald and 
C. M. Borchers. During his service as a patrolman he remained on one beat 
on Franklin street for eight years, his being the roughest patrol in the city. 
In addition to his duties in this connection, he has served the Powers Opera 
House as an officer each evening for eleven years, still holding that position 
at the present time. He is justly proud of his career as a policeman, having 
a clear record and having never been called before a mayor or chief of police 
for conduct unbecoming an officer. On the 20th of October, 1910, he was 
elected overseer of the poor of Macon county, being one of nine candidates 
and receiving sixteen votes out of the twenty-two cast by the supervisors of 
this county. He was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of R. J. 
Roberts, a pioneer of Decatur. His record as a public official also covers five 
years' service in the capacity of health officer. 

Mr. Cross has been twice married and is the father of five children, his 
eldest son being Lyman C. Cross, who was born of the first marriage. For his 
second wife he chose Miss Laura Harris, a native of Kentucky, by whom he 
has the following children : Sarah A. ; Lloyd Wilson ; Russell S. ; and James 
Nelson, named in honor of Judge William E. Nelson, who performed the mar- 
riage ceremony in Decatur. Fraternally Mr. Cross is identified with the Mod- 
ern Woodmen of America, belonging to Camp No. 144, and also to the en- 
campment. His fellow townsmen entertain for him warm friendship and 
kindly regard, and he is highly esteemed by all who know him. 



LEONARD H. CASSITY. 

Leonard H. Cassity, a prosperous and representative citizen of Decatur, is 
at the head of the Cassity Electric Company, doing contract work and dealing in 
general electrical supplies. His place of business is located at No. 357 North Main 
street and his home is at No. 1330 North College street. His birth occurred in 
Lucas County, Iowa, on the 30th of December, 1876, his parents being J. C. 
and Eliza (Allen) Cassity. The father, who was born in Indiana in 1856, ac- 
companied his parents on their removal to Iowa when nine years of age and has 
since been a resident of that state. The pursuits of farming and stock-raising 
have claimed his attention throughout his entire business career and he still de- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 85 

votes his time and energies to the work of the fields with excellent results. His 
wife, who was the second in order of birth in a family of twelve children, was 
born in Iowa, March 28, 1859, and passed away on the 1st of January, 1897. 
Our subject is the elder of two children, his sister being Ethel A., who was born 
August 28, 1881, and makes her home with her father. 

Leonard H. Cassity obtained his early education in the public schools of 
Chariton, Iowa, graduating therefrom in 1897. Later he spent a year in Parsons 
College of Fairfield, Iowa, and then studied in James Millikin University of 
Decatur for two years. After completing his education he entered the service 
of the Western Electric Company at Chicago, remaining in the employ of that 
concern for four years. On the expiration of that period he returned to Decatur 
and on the 15th of December, 1908, embarked in business on his own account, 
opening an office in the Home Telephone building at No. 219 North Main street. 
On the 15th of February, 1910, he removed to his present location at No. 357 
North Main street and is now conducting a good business, doing contract work 
and dealing in general electrical supplies. He keeps in touch with the notable 
progress that is manifest in the electrical world and is qualified to put his 
knowledge and ideas into practical use in the conduct of the business in which 
he is now engaged. His enterprise is incorporated under the name of the Cas- 
sity Electric Company. 

In 1907 Mr. Cassity was united in marriage to Miss Ola Mcintosh, a daugh- 
ter of T. R. and Mary Mcintosh, residing near Forsyth, Illinois. She was the 
eldest child in a family of three children, having been born January 16, 1884. 
Mr. and Mrs. Cassity now have two children, namely: Ronald, whose natal day 
was March 15, 1908; and Carroll, whose birth occurred December 15, 1909. 

In politics Mr. Cassity is a republican, while his religious faith is indicated 
by his membership in the Presbyterian church of Russell, Iowa. He is like- 
wise a worthy exemplar of the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, belonging to Lodge No. 614, A. F. & A. M., at Forrest, Illi- 
nois, and Decatur Lodge, No. 85, I. O. O. F. His life is upright and honorable, 
his many good qualities winning for him the high regard of all who know him. 



MARTIN E. CONNARD. 

Martin E. Connard, a prosperous and leading resident of Elwin, is success- 
fully engaged in business as a grain merchant. He is numbered among the 
worthy native sons of this county, his birth having here occurred on the 16th 
of May, 1868. His father, Charles E. Connard, who was born in Montgomery 
county, Pennsylvania, on the 6th of November, 1829, was a son of John and 
Dorothy (Schriver) Connard and a grandson of Ebenezer Connard. The last 
named was a native of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, and came of German an- 
cestry. Charles E. Connard, the father of our subject, was the eldest child and 
only son in a family of five children, his sisters being Hannah, Sarah Ann, 
Catharine and Angeline, all of whom are deceased. In 1840 he came to Illinois 



86 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

with his parents, locating on the farm near Elwin which remained his place of 
abode during the rest of his life. General agricultural pursuits claimed his at- 
tention throughout his entire business career and during the last thirty years 
of his life he was likewise actively engaged in the grain business, being asso- 
ciated with his sons in that business. He was uniformly respected and esteemed 
and became widely recognized as one of the substantial and progressive citizens 
of the county. At the time of his arrival this state was still but sparsely settled 
and largely undeveloped, and the work of progress and improvement remained 
to the future. During his lifetime Mr. Connard not only witnessed a most won- 
derful transformation but largely aided in the labors which transformed the 
wild tract into a splendid commonwealth. He became a charter member of the 
Elwin Methodist church in 1849 and for sixty years acted as one of its stewards, 
holding that position at the time of his demise, which occurred on the 27th of 
September, 1899. The farm on which he passed away had been his home for 
a period of fifty-eight years. In 1855 he had wedded Miss Nancy N. Eager, 
by whom he had nine children, of whom our subject was the sixth in order of 
birth. The wife and mother was called to her final rest on the 30th of Sep- 
tember, 1878, and the following year Mr. Connard was again married, his second 
union being with Miss Elizabeth J. Rozzel, of Macon county, by whom he had 
three children. 

Martin E. Connard obtained his early education in the public schools of 
this state and later spent part of a year as a student in the Northern Illinois 
Normal School at Dixon. After putting aside his text-books he entered the 
grain establishment of his father and brother at Elwin and in 1897 purchased 
an interest in the business and has since had charge thereof. After the father's 
death he and his brother, G. S. Connard, of Decatur, bought the interest of the 
other heirs in the grain business and now control the business. In the spring 
of 1902 Mr. Connard of this review organized a telephone system, building 
lines through the country districts. In May, 1910, however, he sold out to the 
Macon County Telephone Company, of Decatur, and at that time had one hun- 
dred and sixty-five subscribers. He still owns stocks and bonds in that con- 
cern, however, and likewise inherited a part of his father's estate, which has 
not yet been settled. In 1902 he erected a beautiful modern residence in Elwin 
and has since made his home therein. His connection with any undertaking 
insures a prosperous outcome of the same, for it it in his nature to carry for- 
ward to successful completion whatever he is associated with. He has earned for 
himself an enviable reputation as a careful man of business, and in his dealings 
is known for his prompt and honorable methods, which have won him the de- 
served and unbounded confidence of his fellowmen. 

On the 30th of June, 1898, Mr. Connard was joined in wedlock to Miss 
May Hopkins, who was born on the 20th of February, 1876, her parents being 
Samuel S. and Emmaretta (Williams) Hopkins, natives of Ohio. Our subject 
and his wife now have two children, namely: Lucile, whose birth occurred in 
March, 1899, and Harold, whose natal day was July 20, 1900. 

In politics Mr. Connard is a republican and for the past three years has 
capably served in the office of town clerk. He acts as recording steward in the 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 87 

Methodist church at Elwin and his wife is also a devoted member thereof. That 
many of his stanchest friends are numbered among those who have known him 
from his boyhood to the present time is an indication that his has been an hon- 
orable, upright life and one worthy of the esteem in which he is uniformly held. 



EDMOND S. BAKER. 



Edmond S. Baker, manager of Dreamland Park and one of the well-to-do 
and popular citizens of Decatur, was born on a farm near Warsaw, Indiana, 
July 5, 1850. He is the son of Jacob S. and Elizabeth A. (Leathers) Baker, 
and is the third in a family of five children who grew to maturity. His father 
died at Salem, Illinois, in 1872, but his mother is still living in Decatur at the 
advanced age of ninety-four years. Jacob L. Baker, a brother of our subject, 
was a valiant soldier of the Civil war, first enlisting for three months but at 
the expiration of that term reenlisting for three years. The war being still in 
progress when he received his second discharge, he enlisted once more and 
served until after the rebellion had been entirely suppressed. He was a real 
fighter and was slightly wounded once, and at another time was captured by 
the enemy, but made his escape. He came to Decatur and here he died. Henry 
A. Baker, another brother, was also a soldier. He served in the artillery and 
was injured while in the discharge of duty. He served as clerk in the barracks 
for a time after his partial recovery but was later honorably discharged from 
the army. After returning home he recovered his strength and organized a 
military company, of which he was elected first lieutenant. He served in a 
creditable manner until the close of the war, and after the return of peace 
studied medicine at Louisville, Kentucky, and is now in practice at Decatur. 

At six years of age Edmond S. Baker moved with his parents to Summit 
county, Ohio, where the father became the owner of a mill four miles from 
the city of Akron. There our subject grew to manhood and received a com- 
mon school education, preparatory to his introduction to the stern realities of 
life. As a boy he learned the milling business at his father's mill, but in 1865 
the family settled in Marion county, this state, where he became acquainted 
with the father of William Jennings Bryan. At eighteen years of age he began 
work for himself, receiving thirteen dollars a month, and later took charge of 
a mill owned by his father, which was operated by water and which he con- 
ducted for about two years. After the death of his father, he removed to 
Christian county and at twenty-six years of age was married, his father-in-law 
presenting him and his wife with a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. How- 
ever, not feeling entirely in sympathy with agricultural pursuits, he sold the 
farm and entered the livery business at Decatur in 1885, which he conducted 
with marked success for about ten years. Since 1908 Mr. Baker has been 
manager of Dreamland Park, one of the beautiful resorts of the city, covering 
ten acres, of which he was formerly the owner and where he made his summer 
home. The park had been in operation several years before he assumed its 
management, and from the time of its inception, he has been one of its heavy 



88 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

stockholders. Previous to the time of his assuming the management, the park 
had been a losing proposition for the stockholders, being in debt almost fifteen 
thousand dollars at the beginning of the season of 1908. Under Mr. Baker's 
management all of this indebtedness has been paid except four thousand dol- 
lars at the close of the season of 1910, this after paying all running expenses, 
upkeep of buildings, etc., and also building and fully equipping one of the 
largest roller skating rink in central Illinois. 

In February, 1876, Mr. Baker was united in marriage to Miss Frances E. 
Osborne, a daughter of Robert and Phoebe Osborne, of Christian county. Mr. 
and Mrs. Baker are both members of the Methodist Episcopal church and his 
wife was organist, while he sang in the choir previous to their coming to De- 
catur. He affiliates with the republican party, but has strong independent ten- 
dencies, often voting for the man, irrespective of his political associations. So- 
cially he is connected with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen 
of America, and is in hearty accord with the fraternal teachings of those orders. 
Mr. Baker has made many friends by his genial manners and public spirit, and 
is greatly respected wherever he is known. 



EDGAR HOOTS. 



Edgar Hoots, recognized as a public-spirited citizen of Macon county, has 
for the past two years been a member of the county board and received en- 
dorsement of his first term's service in a reelection in the spring of 1910. Macon 
county numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred near 
Oakley on the 9th of December, 1872. His father, Alexander Hoots, was 
born in Tennessee and was a son of John Hoots, likewise a native of that 
state. He and his family removed to Illinois about 1855, settling in this county, 
where Alexander Hoots was reared to manhood. Later he married Louisa 
Haney, a native of Illinois. To provide for his family he followed the black- 
smith's trade, conducting a shop in Oakley for a number of years. His last 
days were here passed, his death occurring April 13, 1909, when he was sixty- 
three years of age. 

Edgar Hoots, one of a family of five sons and one daughter, was reared in 
Macon county and educated in the common schools. Early in life he began 
clerking and was thus employed for a few years, receiving a good practical 
business training. He later learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed 
for seven years at Milmine, Illinois. In 1901 he opened a shop at Oakley and 
began work at his trade here on his own account. He is a natural mechanic, 
very handy with tools, and does with expert ability any work in his line. He 
has in his smithy an engine and machinery and is therefore prepared for various 
kinds of work. In this connection he has built up a good business, having now 
a liberal and well merited patronage. 

On the 14th of September, 1896, in Oakley, Mr. Hoots was married to Miss 
Minnie Williams, who was here born and reared. They have four sons: Her- 
man, Melvin, Harold and Virgil. In politics Mr. Hoots has been a lifelong 
republican and his fellow townsmen, appreciative of his worth and ability, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 89 

nominated and elected him to the position of supervisor from Oakley town- 
ship in 1908, and in 1910 reelected him. He has been a member of the county 
board for over two years and is proving capable and faithful in the discharge 
of his duties. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen camp and has served as 
its secretary for seven years. He also has membership relations with the Odd 
Fellows, joining the lodge at Cerro Gordo, where he filled all of , the chairs. He 
started in life a poor boy without capital and his success has been won through 
his own efforts. He is not only a good workman, but is also a man of business 
integrity and reliability and enjoys the confidence and good will of the entire 
community. 



WILLIAM E. REDMON. 

William E. Redmon, state's attorney of Macon county, is a native son 
of Illinois, who won his way by faithful service to the responsible position 
he occupies and has discharged its duties in such a way as to meet the ap- 
proval of all political parties and the high regard of the best citizens in every 
walk of life. He was born in Jasper county, Illinois, on the 25th of May, 
1859. His parents, John W. and Martha (Wheeler) Redmon, were both born 
in Richland county, this state, of pioneer parents who were among the very 
early settlers of Macon county. The grandparents on the Redmon side were 
natives of Hardin county, Kentucky. The history of the family goes to show 
that they were married in that county and on the next day started on a wed- 
ding trip with an ox team through the almost untrodden forest and across 
stream and prairie to Richland county, Illinois, where they entered government 
land, upon which they lived until their death. This brave couple endured all 
the pioneer hardships. Grandmother Redmon was one of the remarkable 
women of the times and lived to be four score years of age. She was born in 
1810 and died in 1891. Grandfather Wheeler was a native of Vermont and 
his wife was from Kentucky. Upon coming to Illinois, then upon the frontier, 
he first located at Alton and became connected with the river traffic, making 
several trips to New Orleans, where his father died of yellow fever. He also 
preempted government land in Richland county and lived there until his death. 

John W. Redmon, the father of William E. Redmon, was a farmer 
and stock- raiser of Jasper county, Illinois. He died December 26, 1891, at 
Normal, Illinois, where he was living temporarily for the purpose of educating 
his children. The mother is still living and resides with a son and daughter 
at Oakland, California. She has reached the age of seventy-four years, and 
is greatly loved by her children and respected by friends who know of her 
sterling qualities. Five sons and four daughters were born unto Mr. and Mrs. 
Redmon : Mary A., the wife of George W. Beavers, of Marshall county, Kan- 
sas; William E., the subject of this record; Elizabeth, the wife of John W. 
Stitt, living near Toledo, Illinois; Daniel B. ; James T., of Oakland, California; 
Catharine, the wife of Columbus Wolfe, living near Oakland, California; Eva, 
the wife of I. N. Warner, of Wisconsin; John A., residing at Berkeley, Cali- 
fornia; and Jesse, who died in infancy. 



90 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Born and reared on a farm, William E. Redmon is essentially a product 
of conditions that have produced much of the brain and sinew of our country. 
He attended the country schools in winter and worked on the farm in sum- 
mer. His early life was spent largely out of doors in close contact with nature, 
whose moods he learned to interpret and whose charms he freely acknowledges. 
He attended the State Normal School at Carbondale and also taught school in 
Cumberland, Jasper and Richland counties, reading law on holidays, Saturdays, 
and at night. After the requisite period of study in the office of Hon. John 
Packard, of Olney, Illinois, he was admitted to the bar in 1888 and at once 
began practice at Latham, Illinois. Here he continued for four years, then 
removing to Decatur, where he has since continued. In 1900 he was elected 
state's attorney and was twice reelected — in 1904 and 1908, his present term ex- 
piring in 1912. This is the only public office Mr. Redmon has ever filled. His 
honest and impartial discharge of responsibilities of the position has met with 
cordial cooperation and acceptance and his record is one which he can regard 
with pride. 

On January 31, 1882, Mr. Redmon was united in marriage to Miss Delia 
Wilkerson, of Richland county, and two sons and five daughters have been 
born to them: Minnie B., Roscoe W., James, Ralph, Blanche, Blossom, Martha 
and Mary. Mrs. Redmon and daughters are members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church, and the home of the Redmon family is the abode of peace and 
contentment. Mr. Redmon is a man of broad sympathies who quickly responds 
to all calls, from whatsoever direction, that deserve recognition. He is a mem- 
ber of the Knights of Pythias and Modern Woodmen of America. He has al- 
ways been unassuming in manner and his aim has been to acquit himself as 
one who recognizes justice and right and whose highest desire is to perform 
his duty from day to day as he sees it. His life has been conducted entirely 
upon constructive principles, and he long since learned that the superior man is 
the one who has the superior mind. These are the lessons he strives to im- 
press upon his children and it is the idea here conveyed that has gained for 
him an honored place in the esteem of the people of the wide region through- 
out which he is known. 



WILLIAM B. ROBINSON. 

William B. Robinson, residing at 875 West Wood street, Decatur, is one 
of the valiant men who responded to the call of duty nearly half a century ago 
and went to the front to assist in the battle for the Union. Little did he dream 
at the time of his enlistment of the sufferings on the march or in prison which he 
later endured; but his courage never failed even under the most distressing cir- 
cumstances and he lived to receive an honorable discharge at the close of the war. 

He was born in Buffalohart, Sangamon county, Illinois, May 29, 1838, and 
is a son of James T. and Minerva (Starr) Robinson, the former of whom was 
born in Yorkshire, England, January 21, 1808. At twenty-one years of age 
the father settled in Sangamon county and there he lived until 1872, when he 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 91 

was called away. The mother was born in Clark county, Kentucky, January 9, 
181 5, and died at the old home in Sangamon county. Grandfather Robinson 
was a native of England and grandfather Starr of Virginia. The latter was 
born in 1777 and emigrated to Kentucky, where he married Mary Carson, a 
native of Baltimore, Maryland. They came to Illinois in the great movement 
which continued for many years from the south and gave to this state many of 
its best citizens. Grandfather Starr died August 15, 1839, and his widow thirteen 
years later, in 1852. 

The subject of this review was educated in the public schools of Sangamon 
county and continued upon the home farm assisting in its operations until he 
was twenty-four years of age. On August 25, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, 
One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, and was mustered in at Camp 
Butler, Illinois, under Captain King, who was later promoted to a colonelcy. 
The regiment participated in many of the great battles and expeditions of the 
Army of the West and our subject was present at the battle of Jackson, Missis- 
sippi, for eight days at the siege of Vicksburg and at the battle of Guntown, 
also taking part in many skirmishes. On June 10, 1864, during the battle of 
Guntown, he was captured and with a number of his companions was sent to 
Andersonville Prison. Here he remained for three months when he was con- 
ducted to Savannah, then to Millen, back to Savannah and later to Florence, 
South Carolina, where he spent a second period of three months behind the 
stockade. On the approach of Sherman's army the prisoners were removed 
to Goldsboro, North Carolina, and on February 25, 1865, our subject was paroled 
and the next day released at Wilmington, North Carolina. He experienced many 
great sufferings, but being blessed with a strong constitution he was able to 
withstand the hardships of prison life although many of his comrades succumbed. 
He was in the hands of the enemy from June 10, 1864, until February of the fol- 
lowing year, a period of more than eight months. After spending a short time 
on furlough at home he was ordered to St. Louis, where he was honorably dis- 
charged, the war having come to an end. Returning once more to Illinois Mr. 
Robinson resumed touch with the affairs of private life and after acquiring a 
competence located in Decatur, where for some years he has lived retired. 

On the 2 1 st of February, 1867, our subject was united in marriage to Miss 
Arminda Burns, who was born in Sangamon county, December 30, 1844. She is 
a daughter of John R. and Lucy A. (Cass) Burns, the former of whom was born 
in Jessamine county, Kentucky, October 9, 1803, and came to Sangamon county 
in 1828, where he spent the remainder of his days. The mother was born in Pike 
county, Kentucky, January 15, 1813, and also died in Sangamon county. Grand- 
father Thomas Burns was a native of Alexandria, Virginia, where he was born 
August 1, 1773. He came to Sangamon county in the early days with his wife, 
Elizabeth. Grandfather Robert Cass was born in 1768, in Iredell county, North 
Carolina, and was also one of the early settlers of Sangamon county. His wife, 
who was Lucy Riley before her marriage, died in Pike county, February 13, 
1809. Two children have been born to William B. and Arminda Robinson. 
John B. was born January 12, 1868, and is now engaged in the lumber busi- 
ness in Decature. He was married to Stella Cowgill, who was born in Macon 
county. Two children resulted from this union: Helen Alice, born August 14, 



92 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

1902; and Isabelle, June 3, 1906. The second child of Mr. and Mrs. Robinson 
is Alice Cary, who was born October 4, 1872. She married Frank Pitner, of 
Decatur, who departed this life in January, 1902. 

Mr. Robinson was a good soldier and as a private citizen he has always at- 
tempted to perform his duty not only to the state but to those with whom he 
has associated. He is now numbered among the elderly residents of the city 
and is regarded with the honor that is accorded those who by their upright lives 
have earned the respect of the community. The old soldiers are rapidly pass- 
ing to their final reward and it is with pleasure that this permanent record is 
here presented of one who proved himself inded brave and true. 



JAMES A. HENSON. 



The world generally accepts a man at the estimate he places on himself, 
provided it is backed up by plenty of grit and directed by good, strong com- 
mon sense. Early in life James A. Henson became possessed with a laudable 
ambition to win for himself an honorable name — an ambition which has carried 
him through many difficulties that would have appalled a less resolute man, 
and today he holds a high place in one of the most eminent of the professions, 
represents in the state senate one of the most intelligent communities in the 
state and has gained the respect and confidence of a circle which not only in- 
cludes the county of Macon but many people throughout the state who are ac- 
quainted with his abilities and recognize in him a reliable and stanch supporter 
of any cause that aims to advance the permanent welfare of his fellowmen. 
Senator Henson has fairly won this enviable position by earnest endeavor, 
which will always redound to his credit. 

A native of Illinois, he was born in Monroe township, Shelby county, on 
the 25th of April, 1874. His grandparents came from Sweden to America and 
settled in Virginia, where his father, James Henson, was born and reared. Like 
many young men of the Atlantic states, he was attracted toward the west and 
removed to Kentucky, where he met Julia Keen, to whom he was married. Mrs. 
Henson, who is still living and resides at Decatur with her son, James A., was 
born in Kentucky. The mother of twelve children, she has always been de- 
voted to the interests of her family and in her declining years receives the many 
attentions prompted by the tenderest sentiments of love. The father was a 
farmer and later followed teaming. He lived for a time in Shelby county, Illi- 
nois, but finally settled in Decatur, where he died July 22, 1899. He was an 
honest, hard-working man and during his active career occupied only one public 
office, that of constable in Shelby county. 

From his earliest years James A. Henson was inured to labor and respon- 
sibility. He was the youngest member of the family and had limited oppor- 
tunity for education, his labors being required in the support of a large family, 
toward which each member was expected to contribute his share. He attended 
the public schools and had the advantage of one term at Millikin University, 
working between times at anything he could find to do. As a boy he assisted 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 95 

by selling newspapers on the streets and at the railway depot, and he gathered 
not a few nickels in shining shoes. He was not ashamed to work at any hon- 
orable occupation and the practical training he then received has been one of 
the greatest forces in his life. As he grew older he worked on the farm, learned 
the barber's trade and in the brickyard gained a thorough acquaintance with 
the brick-making trade. While developing the physical he did not lose sight of 
the mental side of his nature and the law presented allurements which a young man 
of strong individuality and robust ambition could not resist. He began the study 
of law, entered the Wesleyan College at Bloomington, Illinois, and was grad- 
uated from the law department of that institution with the title of LL. B. in 
1906. He was admitted to practice the same year and from the beginning has 
maintained his office in Decatur, where he had previously built up an enviable 
reputation and where his life was known by all men. From the start he has 
been successful at the bar in more than the ordinary degree and although he has 
been in practice only four years, he is recognized as one of the well established 
practitioners of Decatur county. 

Senator Henson has been connected with public office for a number of years 
and has acquitted himself in a way that evidently met the approval of his con- 
stituents. He was elected supervisor before he was twenty-one years of age and 
held the office seven years. In 1904 he was chosen as state senator and his 
record was such that he was reelected to the same office in 1908 with a hand- 
some majority. He has acted as presiding officer pro tern of the senate; chair- 
man of the committee on mines, mining and manufactures; chairman of the 
visitation committee of penal institutions ; chairman of the committee on mines, 
mining and labor for the session of 1909 ; member of the judiciary committee ; 
also other important committees, among them the committee on judicial depart- 
ment and practice. 

Few men in public life are more earnest in their efforts to advance reason- 
able regulations to protect life, health or welfare of the working class than 
Senator Henson. He introduced the Shotfire bill, pertaining to coal mines, 
which was passed and is now a law. He introduced the act now in force in 
Illinois to provide for the health, safety and comfort of employes in factories, 
mercantile establishments, mills and work shops; also the bill limiting the hours 
for the employment of women — a vexed question which attracted state-wide 
discussion for years previous to its final acceptance as an abiding principle 
in the laws of the state. It may here be explained that a similar act was passed 
by the state legislature in 1894 but the act was declared unconstitutional by the 
supreme court of the state. Subsequently the principle was upheld by the courts 
of Oregon and the case was appealed to the supreme court of the United 
States where it was held that the state has a right to enact such a law, overrid- 
ing the supreme court of Illinois upon the decision from the court of final juris- 
diction being known. The committee on mines, mining and labor of the Illi- 
nois senate reported favorably upon a bill as designated above and both branches 
of the legislature acting favorably upon the measure, it was duly signed by the 
governor and became a law. Again the question was carried to the supreme 
court of Illinois ; the court reversed itself and the bill stands today as one of the 
most advanced legislative measures of recent years. It is a monument to the 



96 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

men who fought in season and out of season in favor of what they deemed to 
be a solemn responsibility in behalf of thousands who had no direct voice in 
making the laws. The work which Senator Henson accomplished in securing 
the passage of this and other important measures in the legislature has en- 
deared him to workers not only of his native state but of many states where 
similar legislation is anxiously awaited. While nearly all the leading manu- 
facturers of the state were arrayed against the bill it is confidently believed 
that the time will come when they will acknowledge the justice of the measure. 
On the 25th of December, 1895, Senator Henson was united in marriage 
to Miss Clara May Northland, who was born and reared in Decatur. This 
union has been blessed by one child, James E. Senator Henson is a member 
of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Bricklayers' Union. It has been 
said by profound students that no man has ever yet discovered the extent of 
his powers. Some of these students go so far as to declare that we have 
never actually used more than one-tenth of our capabilities. Judging by the 
work which is being accomplished by many young men of the present time as 
compared with thousands similarly endowed who preceded them, there appears 
to be a great deal of truth in the statements. "Every man has in him an undis- 
covered continent, and happy is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul." 
This is a beautiful sentiment, and it applies in its true meaning to men like 
the subject of this memoir who have literally carved their way to recognition, 
and all the record that is required is a simple recital of their acts. Such men 
are the backbone of the republic and a complete refutation of the charge that 
circumstances control the man. To such every laudable avenue is open, every 
door swings upon its hinges, every worthy ambition bids — "Come, Forward." 



CLAUDE WARREN WARD. 

Claude Warren Ward, an enterprising and progressive agriculturist and 
dairyman of South Wheatland township, cultivates a farm of one hundred and 
forty-one acres on section 16. His birth occurred in Macon county, Illinois, 
on the 3d of January, 1881, his parents being John and Martha (Le Master) 
Ward, who were likewise natives of this state, the former born on the 12th of 
September, 1842, and the latter on the 6th of February, 1844. John Ward was 
the sixth in order of birth in a family of eight children, while his wife was 
the second child born in a family of four. Their marriage was celebrated on 
the 29th of November, 1866. The father of our subject was a farmer by oc- 
cupation, and also bought and shipped high grade stock on an extensive scale, 
dealing principally in Marmaduke roadsters and Poland-China hogs. During 
the Civil war he fought as a defender of the Union for three years, enlisting 
in Company E, Forty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and being mustered 
out at Springfield, Illinois, on the 15th of August, 1865. He participated with 
his regiment in the famous battles of Vicksburg and Jackson and also took part 
in numerous other hotly contested engagements. At the battle of Vicksburg 
he was wounded and carried from the field as dead but revived and was placed 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 97 

in the hospital at Belle Island, where he remained for four months. Upon his 
recovery he was paroled for thirty days, at the end of which time he rejoined 
the army and was again wounded in the engagement at Jackson, Mississippi. 
He was treated on the field for his injuries and remained in the service until 
the cessation of hostilities between the North and the South. At the time of 
his demise, which occurred on the 17th of May, 1892, he- was a member of 
Dunham Post, G. A. R., at Decatur. His political allegiance was given to the 
republican party and he served as supervisor for several terms, and also acted 
as township collector and assessor, ever proving a most capable and trustworthy 
public official. His widow, who still survives, is a devoted and consistent mem- 
ber of the Christian church. 

Claude W. Ward, whose name introduces this review, was the sixth in 
order of birth in a family of eight children, five of whom are yet living. His 
four sisters are as follows: Rosa, at home; Minnie, a resident of Decatur, who 
is the wife of Adam Phillips and has four children; Maud, living in South 
Wheatland township, who is the wife of Leonard Kraft and has one child; 
and Mattie, who is the wife of Bert Wallace and resides in Decatur. 

Claude W. Ward attended the public schools of this state in the acquire- 
ment of an education, and after completing his studies, worked on the home 
farm, assisting his father in its operation until the latter's death. Since that 
time he has managed the place for his mother, and in connection with the 
tilling of the soil is also engaged in the dairy business. The farm comprises 
one hundred and forty-one acres of rich and productive land on section 16, 
South Wheatland township, and in its cultivation he has met with excellent 
results, annually gathering bounteous harvests which find a ready sale on the 
market. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Ward has sup- 
ported the men and measures of the republican party, believing that its prin- 
ciples are most conducive to good government. He has resided in Macon county 
from his birth to the present time and is widely recognized as one of its pros- 
perous and popular young citizens. 



WILLIAM H. DAVIS. 



William H. Davis, manager for the Western Union Telegraph Company at 
Decatur and a man who stands high in the esteem of the people wherever he is 
known, was born in Union City, Indiana, October 8, 1856, and is the son of 
Royal H. and Sarah A. (Wilson) Davis, the former a native of Ohio and the 
latter of Indiana. The father and mother are now living in Union City and have 
arrived at the ages of seventy-six and seventy-three years respectively. They 
were married in 1855 and eight children were born to them. The father learned 
the blacksmith's trade, which he followed until he retired from active labor in 
i895- 

Being the eldest son in a large and growing family, William H. Davis early 
began to face the world. He received his education in the public schools and 



98 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

at the age of sixteen entered the general office of the Western Union Telegraph 
Company at Chicago, beginning as messenger boy and applying himself dili- 
gently to the study of telegraphy, so that he was soon placed at a key and worked 
in Chicago about eight years. He was then sent by the company to various 
points in the United States and after acquiring a thorough knowledge of the 
vocation to which he has devoted the best energies of his life, in 1887 he was 
appointed manager for the company at Decatur and has continued in that posi- 
tion ever since, conducting affairs so intelligently that the company's business 
has very greatly increased and under his supervision is constantly growing. 

In 1888 Mr. Davis was united in marriage to Miss Myra R. Smith, a daugh- 
ter of Abraham and Minerva (Martin) Smith, both natives of Illinois. She 
was born in 1859 and is the second child in a family of three children. Mr. 
Davis is socially identified with Macon Lodge, No. 8, A. F. & A. M., and also 
Celestial Lodge, No. 186, Independent Order of Odd Fellows ; Camp No. 144, 
Modern Woodmen of America; and Camp No. 26, Court of Honor. His study 
of political questions has led him to accept the principles of the democratic party 
as those best adapted for the perpetuity of the republic but in local issues he 
votes independently. He and his wife are active members of the First Meth- 
odist Episcopal church of Decatur and have many friends in the city where they 
have made their home for so many years, in the course of which they have be- 
come closely identified with the religious and social interests of the community. 
Mr. Davis was fortunate in the selection of a wife who during all their mar- 
ried life has presided over a happy household. He early acquired habits 
of application and industry that have been to him of inestimable value, and 
by a life in which he has been guided by worthy ideals he has gained the confi- 
dence and respect of the best people in the community. 



GEORGE W. REYNOLDS. 

George W. Reynolds is well known as one of the representative citizens of 
Whitmore township. He has been prominent in connection with public offices 
and also as a leading farmer and stock-raiser of the community, devoting his 
time and energies to the cultivation and improvement of a farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres. He was born in Piatt county, Illinois, February 22, 1852. 

His father, Miner Reynolds, was a native of Pickaway county, Ohio, born 
in 1 8 10. There he grew to manhood and was married to Miss Susanna Brady, 
also a native of that county. Following their marriage Mr. Reynolds followed 
farming in Ohio for a number of years and about 1849 removed westward to 
Illinois, settling in Piatt county, where he carried on general agricultural pur- 
suits for a number of years. He next became a resident of Whitmore town- 
ship, Macon county, where he purchased land and developed a farm. Upon 
this property he reared his family and spent his remaining days, his death oc- 
curring in 1876. His wife had passed away a number of years before, when 
George W. Reynolds was a child. In the family were three sons and six daugh- 
ters, all of whom reach mature years, while one brother and three sisters are yet 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 99 

living, the brother being James Reynolds, now of Kansas. The sisters are : 
Mrs. Madden, of Decatur county, Iowa; Martha, the wife of Phil Bowser, of 
Colorado; and Mrs. Miranda Hester, a widow living in Smith county, Kansas. 

George W. Reynolds was reared upon the home farm in Macon county, 
for he was but a young lad which his parents removed to this part of the state. 
His early education, acquired in the common schools, was supplemented by a 
year's study in the State University at Iowa City, Iowa. He devoted four years 
to herding cattle in the west, particularly in Nebraska, and then returned to his 
native state. In November, 1880, he was married in Piatt county to Miss Ida 
M. Shaff, who was born and reared in Ohio, a daughter of Michael Shaff, who 
removed from the Buckeye state to Illinois. 

Following his marriage Mr. Reynolds rented land and engaged in farming 
for a few years in Piatt county. He also bought and sold land while living there 
and eventually invested in the one hundred and sixty acres upon which he now 
resides. This he at once began to farm and his labors are manifest in the ex- 
cellent improvements upon the place and in the neat and thrifty appearance of 
the fields. He has erected a good residence, together with substantial barns, 
corn cribs and buggy sheds, and he has also tiled and fenced the fields. There 
are fruit and shade trees upon the place of his planting and in fact the excellent 
appearance of the farm is attributable entirely to his intelligently directed labors. 
In connection with the tilling of the fields he has raised and fed stock but makes 
a specialty of raising grain. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds have been born five sons and four daughters : 
Cecil D., who aids in carrying on the home farm ; Bert, now of Pittsburg, Penn- 
sylvania, where he is employed as an electrician after having previously studied 
for seven years in the Millikin University, of which he is a graduate; John, a 
telegraph operator, now at home ; Roy and Carl, who are still under the parental 
roof; Janetta, the wife of William Campbell, a farmer of Whitmore township; 
Mabel, Fay and Marie, all at home. 

In his political views Mr. Reynolds has been a lifelong republican. He cast 
his first ballot for president for General U. S. Grant in 1872 and has supported 
each presidential nominee of the party since that time. Locally, however, he 
votes an independent ticket, regarding only the capability of a candidate. He 
was appointed supervisor to fill out an unexpired term and later was elected 
and reelected until his service as a member of the county board covered six 
years. He also was elected a member of the town board and served as assessor 
for one term. On other occasions he has assisted in assessing the township. 
While a member of the county board he was appointed one of three to investi- 
gate the tax index system for keeping the county records and, making favorable 
report upon this, it was adopted and has proved a great saving of time and ex- 
pense. He also served on a number of important committees while a county 
supervisor, acting as a member of the committee in charge of the county farm 
for about five years. He retired from office in 1910 with a most creditable 
official record. With little interruption he has been identified with the board 
of education for many years and the cause of the public schools finds him a stal- 
wart and helpful champion. He has served as a delegate to county and state 
conventions of his party and also on petit and grand juries. His life has been 



100 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

characterized as of signal usefulness to his fellowmen and at all times has been 
actuated by high and honorable principles. 

His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Argenta. He be- 
longs to the Masonic lodge at Argenta and Decatur chapter, R. A. M., and was 
formerly a member of the Odd Fellows lodge at Argenta. He is one of the 
most progressive farmers, enterprising business men and public-spirited citizens 
of Whitmore township, enjoying and meriting the high regard and confidence of 
all with whom he has come in contact. His friends are many and all who know 
him entertain for him warm regard. 



CHARLES E. TANDY. 



The office of county treasurer in a great commonwealth such as Illinois 
is a prize coveted by many, but few there be that win. The winners are usu- 
ally men of well proven conservatism, of good judgment in business affairs, 
of unexceptionable character and regarded by the tax-paying interests as safe 
conservators of the public money. These requirements are not always easy to 
meet, but in the case of Charles E. Tandy, whose name appears at the 
head of this biography, the conditions seemed in the minds of the voters 
to be complied with and for two years past the duties of the treasuryship have 
rested on his shoulders. Having been a resident of Macon county for forty 
years past, he is well known and the utmost confidence is felt in his ability, and 
faithfulness. 

Born in Morgan county, Illinois, Sepember 13, 1862, Charles E. Tandy is 
still on the sunny side of fifty years and is in the prime of life. He is the son 
of George W. and Catherine E. (Scott) Tandy, both of whom were born in 
Kentucky. The father came to Morgan county when a lad, in 1834, and the 
mother about ten years later. It was a new country. The warlike Indians had 
departed to the western side of the Mississippi river and a great influx of popu- 
lation from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and states of the east poured into a 
land described as one of the most attractive and productive in America. At 
first only the valleys along the streams were cultivated, but after the introduc- 
tion of iron plows for breaking up the tough soil of the prairies the state began 
to move into place as the chief agricultural region of the Union. The father 
of Mr. Tandy, who was one of the men to assist in breaking the virgin prairie, 
is still living, a survivor of the pioneer days when the state of Illinois was in its 
infancy. He and his wife located in Macon county in 1870, settling on a tract 
of eighty acres in Harristown township, of which Charles E. is now the owner. 
Mrs. Tandy passed away in 1905, after a long life of unselfishness and 
usefulness. 

Charles E. Tandy was reared upon a farm and attended the country school, 
later taking a course of study at Brown's Business College, Jacksonville, Illinois, 
and also in the business college at Springfield, Illinois. Although he has from 
choice and natural ability been a practical farmer from the beginning of his ca- 
reer, he has taken advantage of educational facilities and enriched his mind 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 101 

with ideas of the best thinkers. Having a taste for politics, he served as town 
collector of Harristown and was for two years a member of the board of 
review. Coming into a wider field as the years passed, he was appointed deputy 
county treasurer under W. T. J. Cooper, serving in that capacity one and a half 
years. The death of Mr. Cooper in 1908 created a vacancy, which was filled by 
Mr. Tandy under appointment of the county supervisors until the fall election 
of 1908, when he was duly elected by the voters of the county for the full term 
of four years. His administration has given general satisfaction and has greatly 
heightened the respect entertained for his unfailing courtesy to all alike and 
many desirable traits of character in one holding a position of responsibility. 
His social qualities are exemplified also by membership in the Masonic frater- 
nity, of whose protective principles he has for years been an earnest advocate. 
He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, recognized as one 
of the strongest beneficiary orders on the continent. 

Mr. Tandy was united in marriage, February 3, 1887, to Miss Caroline L. 
Talbott, who is a native of Harristown township, and they have four children: 
Edna F., deputy in the office of the county treasurer; Willis C. ; Clarence L. ; 
and Hobart E. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church 
and aim to exemplify by their lives the teachings of the book of books. From 
farmer boy to county treasurer of one of the great counties of Illinois is a long 
step and implies genuine worth and a life founded on principles of generally 
acknowledged stability. That this step has been made by the present incumbent 
of the office is an incentive which others may profitably note, for there is no 
position in the gift of the people which it is not possible for the ambitious, de- 
serving man to attain. 



WARREN FOLLANSBEE HARDY. 

There is no doubt that the newspapers largely control public opinion in 
America. Here the press has a freedom known nowhere else in the world and 
here the newspaper business has been brought to its highest degree of efficiency 
not only in gathering the news but in disseminating it to the millions of readers. 
The general consensus of opinion is that a free press is a necessity in a free 
government and all wrongs will in the end right themselves even in the realm 
of the newspaper. If a newspaper takes undue advantage of its freedom or 
fails to present the truth it will in the end receive merited condemnation. If a 
newspaper consistently maintains high ideals it will gain the confidence of its 
readers and its influence will be in proportion to the sincerity with which it ad- 
heres to what is just and true. 

Warren F. Hardy, the subject of this review, is a representative of that 
branch of the press which aims to maintain an honorable standard and thus to 
gain and retain the respect and confidence of the people. As managing editor 
of the Decatur Herald for three years past, he has displayed those qualities that 
count for most in the journalism of the country, and has gained an enviable 
reputation in Decatur and Macon county as a man of marked ability in a diffi- 
cult profession and a citizen whose great object it is to upbuild the community. 



10 2 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

He was born at Blue Hill, Maine, December 14, 1878, and is a son of Daniel 
W. and Lydia (Follansbee) Hardy, the father being a minister of the Congre- 
gational church. 

The subject of this review was reared in a genial home and early possessed 
advantages of training that have had a controlling influence on his life. In 
1896 he was graduated from the Waterville, Maine, high school, after which 
he attended Colby College for two years, then entering Amherst College, gradu- 
ating from the latter institution in 1900 with the degree of A. B. Mr. Hardy 
lost no time in beginning upon his life work. He had a natural liking for the 
newspaper and immediately after leaving college became connected with the 
Lowell (Mass.) Mail as a reporter. Here he received his introduction 
to the calling for which he has proven to be eminently adapted. We next find 
him as court reporter on the Springfield (Mass.) Union and from this position 
he became city editor of the Evening Union and later city editor of the Morning 
Union, being also night editor of the same paper for three years, thus securing 
a varied experience that has qualified him for any position in the newspaper 
field. In January, 1908, he came to this city as managing editor of the Decatur 
Herald and has filled this office with an ability that has met with the general 
approval of the people of the city and also of readers in central Illinois where 
the Herald has an extensive circulation. Under his management the paper has 
been greatly strengthened and its sphere of influence extended. He is a clear 
and forcible writer and has gained just recognition among his brethren of the 
state press as one of the wide-awake and progressive newspaper men of the mod- 
ern school, who are capable of a comprehensive grasp of the great issues which 
effect the state and control the destiny of the nation. 

On June, 22, 1910, Mr. Hardy was united in marriage to Miss Olive Belle 
Milner, formerly woman's editor of the Decatur Herald. Mr. Hardy is a re- 
publican in politics and a member of the University Club, of which he was 
president 1910-1911. In college he was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity 
and his religious belief is indicated by his membership in the First Congrega- 
tional church of Decatur. In the course of his life he has aimed to deal justly 
and judge gently and in his career as a journalist he has been governed by a 
moderation that makes more binding the ties of society and strengthens those 
relations by which men recognize each other as in a common brotherhood. 



HON. WILLIAM F. CALHOUN. 

Hon. William F. Calhoun, postmaster of Decatur, to which position he was' 
appointed by President McKinley in 1897, since which time through reappoint- 
ments he has continuously filled the position to the satisfaction of the general 
public, was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, November 21, 1844. His 
parents were John and Catharine (Kiner) Calhoun, who were also natives of 
the Keystone state. The Kiner family is of Holland-Dutch lineage. The Cal- 
houns are among the oldest and most prominent American families. The pa- 
ternal grandfather, John Calhoun, a representative of one of the early families 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 105 

of Perry county, Pennsylvania, was married in that county in 1794 to Miss 
Jane Dill. He was a contractor and builder and his son and namesake, John 
Calhoun, Jr., followed the same pursuit. Both died in Perry county, Pennsyl- 
vania. The latter was a very prominent and influential resident of his com- 
munity and by the vote of his fellow townsmen was called to fill several local 
offices. He married Catharine Kiner, and unto them were born three sons and 
two daughters; William F. ; Winfield Scott, who resides at Tuscola, Illinois; 
Jennie, deceased; John Dill, a resident of Winona, Illinois; and Ella, the wife 
of Edward Hill, of Des Moines, Iowa. 

In taking up the personal history of Dr. William F. Calhoun we present to 
our readers the life record of one who is most widely and favorably known in 
Decatur and throughout this part of the state. His early education, acquired 
in the public schools of Pennsylvania, was supplemented by an academic course 
at Mount Dempsey, that state. But when seventeen years of age his spirit of 
patriotism surmounted all else in his life, and he joined the army, putting aside 
his text-books for that purpose. He enlisted as a member of Company H, One 
Hundred and Thirty-third Pennsylvania Infantry, and was connected with the 
Fifty Army Corps. He was continuously at the front with his command, par- 
ticipating in the battles of Bull Run, Antietam, South Mountain, Fredericks- 
burg and Chancellorsville. In January, 1864, he reenlisted, joining the Twen- 
tieth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and was made orderly sergeant of Company K. 
with which he continued until the close of the war, being present at Appomat- 
tox at the time of the surrender of General Lee. He was on active duty under 
General Sheridan during the term of his second enlistment and participated 
in a number of hotly contested battles and skirmishes, including the engagements 
at Winchester, Cedar Creek, Fisher's Hill, Toms Brook, Waynesboro, Five 
Forks, Sailors Creek and Appomattox; Following the close of the war he was 
mustered out at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in August, 1865, having done faith- 
ful duty in defense of his country upon the long hard marches and on some 
of the battlefields where shot and shell fell thickest. 

The war over, Dr. Calhoun returned to his old home but was not satisfied 
in Pennsylvania, and in October of the same years came to Illinois, first settling 
in La Salle county. There he studied dentistry and for twenty-three years 
pursued his profession in Seneca, Farmers City and Clinton, Illinois, but in 
1889 he retired from practice and came to Decatur, where he turned his at- 
tention to the newspaper business, establishing the Dispatch, which was later 
consolidated with the Herald. With this newspaper he is still identified as presi- 
dent of the company. For years he was the editor of the Herald and under 
his management the journal was brought to a prosperous condition, which it 
still enjoys. He wielded a trenchant pen and his clear, concise and forcible 
presentation of vital questions and subjects made the Herald a welcome visitor 
to many a household. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Dr. Calhoun has been 
a stalwart advocate of the republican party and its principles, and has been 
honored with a number of public offices. In 1882 he was elected to the state 
legislature and was reelected for three successive terms. In 1887 he served as 
speaker of the house and was regarded as a most excellent legislator, always 



106 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

just and wise in his rulings. Moreover, when occupying a seat with the other 
members of the house he took an active part in promoting constructive legis- 
lation, serving at different times on all of the important committees and was on 
the steering committee that elected John A. Logan to the United States senate. 
He was prominently identified with all the important questions that came up 
during his connection with the assembly, sought the welfare of the state in his 
support of all bills that were presented, and at no time occupied an equivocal 
position but stood fearlessly in defense of what he believed to be right. In 
November, 1897, Dr. Calhoun was again called to office in his appointment 
to the position of postmaster by President McKinley. For thirteen years he 
has occupied this position, his services being entirely satisfactory to the general 
public. A new postoffice building was erected in 1908 under his administration, 
at a cost of eighty-four thousand, seven hundred and eighty-two dollars, and 
the site on which it stands was purchased for twelve thousand dollars. It oc- 
cupies the place where formerly stood the home of the Hon. William E. Nelson. 
The building is modern in construction and equipment, is light and well ven- 
tilated and is one of the best buildings used exclusively for postoffice purposes 
in the state. It is an ornament to the city and a credit to the effort of Dr. 
Calhoun. 

On the 22d of August, 1869, Dr. Calhoun was married to Miss Blanche 
Derthick, a native of Ohio, and unto them have been born five children : Maude, 
the wife of Rev. E. K. Towle, of Taylorville, Illinois ; Nellie, the wife of F. S. 
Dodd, manager of the Decatur Herald; John C, a resident of Des Moines, 
Iowa; Catharine, the wife of Victor R. Lougheed, of Chicago; and Richard 
B., at home. 

Dr. and Mrs. Calhoun are members of the First Methodist Episcopal church 
and he is identified with the Knights of Pythias and with Dunham Post, No. 
141, G. A. R. of which he has been commander. His life record in all of its as- 
sociations has won for him honor and regard, being characterized by fidelity 
to duty and by capability in the discharge of all of the tasks which have devolved 
upon him, whether in personal, business, political or social relations. His engag- 
ing personality and genial disposition have won him many friends, and he is 
justly accounted one of the representative citizens of Decatur. 



MAHLON HAWORTH. 

Mahlon Haworth, for many years a leading citizen of Decatur, now deceased, 
was born on a farm in Clinton county, Ohio, August 20, 1809. He was the son 
of Mahlon and Phoebe (Frazer) Haworth, the latter a native of Berks county, 
Pennsylvania, and of Scotch descent. The Haworth family on the paternal side 
is of English origin. It is said that the first of the Haworths to come to America 
were James and Thomas, one of whom settled in Pennsylvania and the other 
in Virginia early in the history of the American colonies. The Haworths were 
members of the Society of Friends from the time of its organization in Eng- 
land. Mahlon Haworth, the grandfather, was a native of Virginia and lived 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 107 

there until the Revolutionary war. The father of our subject, who was born 
near Winchester, Virginia, settled in Pennsylvania but later removed to Knox- 
ville, Tennessee, where he lived for several years and where two of his children 
were born. In 1790 he located in Warren county, Ohio, when that region was 
a wilderness and neighbors were far apart. 

Mahlon Haworth was sixth in order of birth in a family of nine children. 
He received his preliminary education in a log schoolhouse, the school being in 
session only a few weeks each winter. Being ambitious for further advance- 
ment, he attended school at Xenia and Wilmington, Ohio, and made such prog- 
ress that at eighteen years of age he began teaching and continued for four 
years. 

On August 20, 1830, Mr. Haworth was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. 
Woolman, of Clark county, Ohio, a member of the same family as John Wool- 
man, famous as a Quaker preacher and an early advocate of the abolition of 
slavery. In 1832 Mr. Haworth went into the mercantile business in Warren 
county and later at Port William, Clinton county, Ohio. However, being at- 
tracted in other directions, he sold out his business in 1835 and engaged in farm- 
ing and in operating a sawmill. He served as justice of the peace and as post- 
master at Port William and was known as one of the leading citizens in that 
region. In 1853, believing that more favorable advantages lay westward, he 
emigrated to Illinois and for three years lived upon a farm in Sangamon county. 
In 1857 he came to Decatur, where he spent the remainder of his life, being 
called away April 25, 1893. From 1859 to 1869 he was identified with the grain 
business, but in the latter year the firm of Haworth & Sons was organized for 
the manufacture of the Haworth Check Rower, which was used in planting corn 
and became highly popular in all parts of the country. 

There were nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. Haworth, two of whom died 
in infancy. Three sons are now living, L. L., George D. and James W. Uriah, 
the second son, died in 1852 in his twenty-first year, at St. Joseph, Missouri, 
while en route for California. Mahlon F. enlisted in 1861 in the Seventh 
Illinois Cavalry and served in Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi, participat- 
ing in many of the leading battles of the war. At Colliersville, Tennessee, he 
was taken prisoner and later was confined at Belle Isle and Anderson ville and 
died in the latter prison on account of hardships and exposure. Annie M. is the 
wife of Kilburn H. Roby, of Decatur, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in 
this work. Mary P. is the wife of George S. Simpson, a record of whom ap- 
pears elsewhere in this work. The mother of this family passed away De- 
cember 24, 1 89 1. 

The subject of this review was identified with the old line whig party and 
supported Henry Clay for president in 1832. After the republican party was 
organized he became a stanch adherent of its principles. Having observed the 
evils of slavery, he was unalterably opposed to that institution as a constant 
menace to the republic. Although he did not seek political honors, he served 
most acceptably as a member of the city council of Decatur. As a business man 
he attained wide recognition and in the discharge of the various responsibilities 
of life, displayed a foresight and ability that reflected great credit upon him- 



108 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

self and those with whom he was associated. His name justly belongs among 
those of the leaders who assisted in the upbuilding of Macon county and no 
history of this county would be complete without adequate mention of Mahlon 
Haworth as one of the enterprising and progressive men of his day. 



GEORGE S. SIMPSON. 

For over fifty years a resident of Decatur, George S. Simpson has wit- 
nessed the growth of the city from the time it was a village and has been closely 
identified with a region which is now one of the most flourishing portions of 
the Union. Born in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1843, ne > s the son of 
Nathaniel and Margaret (Sprankle) Simpson, who were both natives of the 
Keystone state. The family was founded in America by his grandfather, David 
Simpson, a farmer and miller, who came from Ireland and located in Indiana 
county, where he reared a family of three sons and one daughter. The grand- 
father on the maternal side was Frederick Sprankle, of good Teutonic ances- 
try, who emigrated from Germany and settled in Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, 
where he followed farming and milling. The father of our subject engaged in 
farming in Pennsylvania until 1855, when he removed to Keokuk, Iowa. A 
year later he went to Assumption, Illinois, and a short time before the Civil 
war went to Denver, Colorado. He served as a scout in the west under Buffalo 
Bill and enlisted in the Seventh Colorado Cavalry, showing such capacity that he 
became major of the regiment but lost his life shortly afterward. He was a 
man of high character and while living at his home in Pennsylvania served as 
deacon in the Presbyterian church, his wife also being a member of the same 
denomination. She lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years and was 
called to her reward while making her home with our subject at Decatur, March 
19, 1909. There were four children in the family: Agnes, the wife of R. C. 
Cochrane, of Assumption, Illinois; Elizabeth, the wife of Robert C. Laforgee, 
of Decatur; Emma C, the wife of Elmer R. Culver, of Decatur; and George 
S., our subject. 

Coming with his parents to Illinois at thirteen years of age, the subject of 
this review possessed meager advantages of education in his boyhood, but he 
has always been the possessor of large powers of observation and in the years 
that have passed has in an important degree made up for the unavoidable lack 
of early training. His education has been gained mainly in the great school of 
practical experience — a school whose lessons make even a more profound im- 
pression than those secured from books. He engaged in various business pur- 
suits until he formed a connection with Haworth & Sons, manufacturers of 
farm machinery at Decatur, being the originator of improvements in the man- 
ufacture of the check rower which were still indispensable in its manufacture. 
He traveled as salesman for this firm, covering a wide territory which included 
the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa, and he be- 
came one of the most successful salesman identified with the firm. In his va- 
rious business affairs Mr. Simpson has used sound judgment and has long since 
attained a position of comparative financial independence. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 109 

On the 25th day of April, 1866, Mr. Simpson was united in marriage to 
Miss Mary P. Haworth, a daughter of Mahlon and Sarah J. (Woolman) Ha- 
worth, a record of whom appears elsewhere in this work. The wife of our sub- 
ject was the youngest child of her parents and was born in Port William, Clin- 
ton county, Ohio, coming to Decatur in 1856. Here she was educated in the 
public schools and grew to womanhood. Two children were born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Simpson. George H., born September 11, 1867, was married December 
4, 1889, to Miss Grace Blume, a daughter of George P. Blume, of Decatur, 
and one son, George B., was born to them. His wife having been called away, 
George H. Simpson was married, April 25, 1898, at Springfield, Illinois, to Miss 
Mina Matheney. They are now living in Decatur and have one son, Haworth, 
born February 28, 1899. Fred was born August 26, 1872, and departed this life 
February 14, 1896, at the age of twenty-four years, at Los Angeles, California. 
Mrs. Simpson is a member of the Presbyterian church. 

Mr. Simpson cast his first vote in 1864 for Abraham Lincoln as president 
of the United States and has never departed from his allegiance to the republi- 
can party. He served for six years in the city council of Decatur and during 
that time was instrumental in securing a number of improvements that have 
been of practical value to the city. In the course of many years in active busi- 
ness affairs he has made a host of friends and they have always found him 
absolutely upright, sincere in the discharge of every obligation and a willing 
supporter of every worthy cause. That he has met with well deserved success 
in his undertakings is the opinion of all who know him. 



CHARLES A. HECKEL. 

Among the residents of Long Creek township, Macon county, it is probable 
that none holds a higher place in the estimation of the people than Charles A. 
Heckel, whose name stands at the head of this review. Born in this township, 
May 5, 1849, hi s n ^ e nas Deen an open book and his character for sincerity and 
straightforward thinking and living has never been questioned. He is recog- 
nized as a valued public-spirited citizen, a man whose word is as good as his 
bond and a scholar of varied accomplishments. He is also a Christian in the 
full meaning of the word. Although closely identified with the farming inter- 
est, he is also prominently connected with the Christian church and is one of its 
most zealous workers, giving fully of his means as well as of his time and tal- 
ents, and in every way seeking to advance the permanent welfare of those with 
when he is associated. 

Mr. Heckel comes of good German ancestry on his father's side and on his 
mother's side traces his lineage to the same ancestry as Abraham Lincoln. His 
father was John Joseph Heckel, who was born at Erfurt, Prussia, May 4, 1810. 
He was educated at Wittenberg University, and served for three years in the 
Prussian army. He was a man of fine education and especially versed in the 
languages. About 1834 he came to America and settled on a small tract of land 
in Macon county and became one of the prosperous farmers of the county. The 



110 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

mother of our subject, Elizabeth Hanks before her marriage, was a native of 
Hardin county, Kentucky, where she was born April 23, 1822. She was married 
in Macon county, May 3, 1840. Mrs. Heckel was a second cousin of Abraham 
Lincoln and a playmate of Mr. Lincoln in his boyhood. She was a woman of 
many excellent qualities and a faithful wife and mother. She was called from 
earthly scenes at the age of seventy years, on February 2, 1892, and four days 
later her husband passed from mortal view. Of the family of Mr. and Mrs. 
Heckel six children are now living. 

The subject of this review was reared upon a farm and early showed a strong 
inclination for a scholastic career. After advancing as far as possible in the 
studies available at the district schoolhouse, he became a student of Eureka Col- 
lege, Woodford county, leaving the college before graduation. After teaching 
school for six years he learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed for 
ten years. However, he had an irresistible desire for further investigation in 
the fields of learning and he returned to Eureka College and graduated from that 
institution with the degrees of A. B. and B. S. in 1895. Accepting a call to the 
ministry of the Christian church, he occupied for about ten years the pulpits of 
various churches of the denomination, among which was the home church of 
Antioch in Long Creek township. He subsequently resigned from the ministry 
and has since devoted his attention largely to farming. He is the owner of a 
highly improved farm of eighty acres in section 14, Long Creek township. Here 
he occupies a comfortable home and has been quite successful as an agricul- 
turist and live stock raiser. 

On July 3, 1879, Mr. Heckel was united in marriage to Miss Ella M. Clark, 
of Long Creek township, a daughter of Milton and Sarah A. (Lee) Clark. She 
is a descendant on her mother's side of the noted Lee family of Virginia and 
was born in Ross county, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Clark came to Illinois in 1856 
and here the family prospered in the farming industry. Mrs. Clark is now liv- 
ing retired in Decatur. Two children have blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. 
Heckel: Guy C, born July 24, 1880 and Roy A., born August 25, 1893. Mr. 
Heckel still continues as a zealous worker in his church, although in a private 
capacity, and is one of the largest contributors toward the construction of the 
new church building now in course of erection. He has been for a number of 
years actively identified with the Hanks Family Association and has been one 
of the principal speakers at the annual gathering of descendants of this family, 
now numbering over two hundred. He is president of the association, which 
meets in Fairview Park every summer, and a worker who has contributed very 
largely toward keeping up the interest of its members. 

Mr. Heckel has made a careful study of political and social conditions of the 
United States and the world and as a result is a strong advocate of prohibition 
as a cure for many of the evils with which mankind is afflicted. He has never 
sought political honors but prefers to attend to his own affairs when not working 
in the vineyard which the Great Master pointed out as one of the most impor- 
tant fields to which any human being can devote his attention. Thoroughly 
earnest in whatever he undertakes, Mr. Heckel never does anything by halves 
and as a result his labors seldom go amiss. He is a good farmer, a generous 
neighbor and a lover of his family, who never tires in advancing the welfare of 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 111 

others and asks no recompense, feeling that it is a duty which all should dis- 
charge to the extent of their ability. In his wife and family he has been greatly 
blessed and therefore, he may rightly be designated as fortunate,, especially in 
having found the "pearl of great price," which after all is worth more than all 
the riches and honors the world can bestow. 



JOSHUA GREEN. 



Joshua Green is now one of the venerable citizens of Whitmore township, a 
man whose well spent life has gained him the honor and respect of those with 
whom he has come in contact. His home is on section 31 and a good farm prop- 
erty there returns to him a substantial annual income. During the period of 
his residence in this section of the state he has become an active and helpful 
factor in many public matters and has therefore been justly numbered among 
the enterprising farmers and progressive citizens. 

England claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred in Yorkshire 
on the 3d of October, 1826. There he grew to manhood and was only about 
twenty-four years of age when he crossed the Atlantic to the new world. He 
arrived in 1850 and made his way at once into the interior of the country, set- 
tling in Greene county, Illinois, where later he was married to Miss Hannah 
Dodson, who was born and reared in this state. His sister afterward joined 
him in Greene county, where he resided for a few years, and then removed to 
Christian county, where he entered two hundred and forty acres of land from 
the government for himself and two hundred and sixty acres for friends. With 
characteristic energy he began improving and developing his farm, which he 
continued to cultivate successfully for a number of years. In 1864, however, 
he sold that property and removed to Macon county, purchasing land in Whit- 
more township. His first investment made him the owner of a tract of two 
hundred acres on which improvements had been made, including the planting 
of an orchard. Subsequently he erected a commodious brick residence and 
as he prospered in his undertaking he purchased more land from time to time, 
so that he now owns a farm of three hundred acres which is very valuable and 
highly developed. None of the equipment of a model farm property is lack- 
ing and the place today returns a good income to the owner, so that in the even- 
ing of his days he has all those things which add so much to the comfort of life. 

Mr. Green votes with the republican party and has ever been unfaltering in 
support of its principles. He came to this county in 1864 and the following 
year was elected supervisor over Whitmore township. Several times he was 
reelected to that office and was a member of the county board, being reelected 
four times. He was made a member of various important committees and while 
acting on both the township and county boards his work constituted an impor- 
tant element in promoting the welfare of the district which he represented. He 
has likewise served as asssessor, as highway commissioner and as township 
school trustee and treasurer for thirty years. Moreover he was the first to dis- 
cuss and agitate the subject of a township mutual insurance company which 



112 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

later was organized with Mr. Green as president, in which position he continued 
until the charter expired. Then the Macon County Insurance Company was 
established and he became one of its stockholders and directors, continuing to 
serve on the board of directors until 1905, when he resigned. 

In 1910 Mr. Green was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed 
away on the 25th of February of that year, leaving a son, Charles, who is one 
of the well known and prominent men of Macon county. He was born in 
Christian county in 1858, was reared upon the home farm and was educated in 
the common schools and the high school of Decatur. Later he learned the ma- 
chinist's trade in Decatur and afterward followed it in Peoria and Ottawa, own- 
ing an interest in the business in the latter place. He was also a traveling sales- 
man for several years but in July, 1910, returned home to relieve his father of 
the care and management of the farm and is today numbered among the active, 
enterprising and successful men of the community. Edward Wilson Green, 
another son of Joshua Green, died April 7, 1908, in his fifty-first year. 

Mr. Green has made his home in Whitmore township for forty-six years 
and has long since firmly established himself in the high regard and good will of 
his fellowmen. His life has ever been upright and honorable and his sterling 
character has given him firm hold upon the affections and regard of those with 
whom he has been brought in contact. He is today one of the venerable citi- 
zens of the community and no record of Whitmore township would be regarded 
as complete without mention of Joshua Green. 



T. J. SCROGGIN. 



Among the prominent citizens of Macon county who are now enjoying a 
hard earned rest from long years of faithful labor in the field of agriculture 
may be named T. J. Scroggin, whose home is a comfortable residence at No. 
666, West Decatur street, Decatur, Illinois. Mr. Scroggin is the owner of 
twelve or thirteen hundred acres of land in Macon county, pronounced by com- 
petent authorities as being as good farming land as lies out of doors, nearly 
all of which he has accumulated through his own exertions. He also identified 
with various other interests and is rightfully accounted one of the substantial 
men of the county with whose interests he has been intimately connected for 
many years. 

Mr. Scroggin comes of an old Kentucky family and was born on a farm 
near Mt. Pulaski, Logan county, this state, August 13, 1838, and may there- 
fore be justly classed among the pioneers of Illinois. He is the son of Carter 
T. and Phoebe (Shelby) Scroggin. The father was born in Kentucky and 
was a son of Humphrey and Miss (Kirby) Scroggin and grew to manhood 
in Kentucky. As a young man he crossed the Ohio river into Gallatin county, 
Illinois, when Illinois was a territory, coming there with the lady to whom he 
was subsequently married and who became the mother of the subject of our 
review. She was a native of North Carolina and came to southern Illinois with 
her parents, continuing there for some years after her marriage, the family 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 115 

moving to Logan county, this state, about 1825 or 1826 — at least in some year 
previous to the "big snow" which is referred to by the early inhabitants as 
one of the remarkable occurrences in the pioneer history of Illinois. It is be- 
lieved that the family first located on eighty acres of land. Here Mr. Scroggin 
continued until he was the owner of a farm of six hundred acres, all of which 
is still in possession of the family. He was a man of good business ability, 
possessing many of the interesting characteristics of the early southern gentle- 
men who founded homes in the wilderness north of the Ohio river. He was 
an uncompromising democrat but never an aspirant for public office, although 
he figured to a considerable extent in politics while assisting friends to secure 
coveted positions. He was an oid school Baptist and his home was a popular 
stopping place for the old time ministers and also the center for many gather- 
ings of the brethren. Mr. Scroggin departed this life at the age of sixty- 
five and his venerated wife at the age of seventy-six. Their remains lie side 
by side in the Steanbergen cemetery. Ten children came to bless the house- 
hold of Mr. and Mrs. Scroggin: Leonard K., born in January, 1819, and a 
resident of Logan county; Margaret A., who married William Buckles and be- 
came the mother of five children, but is now 'deceased; Russell Shelby, now liv- 
ing at Mt. Pulaski, Logan county; Humphrey, who died at the age of thirty- 
five years; Jane, who married John Buckles and is now deceased, having left 
three children; Elizabeth, who married John H. Lucas and is now deceased; 
Pleasant Marion, who died at the age of sixty-five; Carter F., who is living 
at Cornland, Logan county; T. J., our subject; and Ellen C, the wife of C. 
K. Lucas and is now living at Mt. Pulaski. 

The subject of our review was reared upon the farm and attended the 
neighboring school which was conducted for a short period each winter in a 
log schoolhouse supplied with puncheon seats and planks extending nearly around 
the room for use as a writing desk. The schoolmaster was usually a stern dis- 
ciplinarian and hesitated not to make vigorous use of the rod. Under these 
circumstances some of the pupils made rapid progress. Our subject assisted 
his father upon the farm for some years after laying his school books aside, 
but he was ambitious to advance in life and at nineteen years of age he began 
to operate on his own account on a tract of seventy acres given him by his 
father, to which he added seventy acres by purchase and later acquired an 
additional forty acres, on all of which he conducted operations according to 
the approved methods of the times. In the spring of 1864 he moved to Harris- 
town township, Macon county, where he had purchased one hundred and sixty 
acres of wild land at fifteen dollars an acre. Here he concentrated his energies 
and made many improvements, from time to time increasing the acreage until 
he acquired about thirteen hundred acres, some of which cost him as much as 
fifty dollars an acre, and the farm is now one of the most valuable properties 
in the township. This farm embraces about twenty acres which was the home 
of Thomas Lincoln, the father of Abraham Lincoln, and here the future presi- 
dent lived in his boyhood. The cabin that was occupied by the Lincoln family 
was moved from its original location before Mr. Scroggin bought the land 
and at present the spot is indicated by a memorial tablet. Before Mr. Scroggin 
purchased this land it belonged to Brennaman Brothers, who acquired it from 



116 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Richard Whitley, the original owner having been Shelton Whitley, who prob- 
ably secured a title to the land from the government. Mr. Scroggin is also 
identified with various business interests and long since reached a point of 
financial independence and gained an enviable reputation as one of the leading 
business men of the farming community. 

On January i, 1858, Mr. Scroggin was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca 
Birks, of Logan county, who was a schoolmate of his and a native of the 
county. Five children were born of the union, the first two dying in infancy. 
The others are: James Russell, deceased at the age of twenty; Charles C, 
deceased at twenty-three years of age; and Carter R., a review of whom appears 
elsewhere in this work. The beloved wife and mother was called away Novem- 
ber 11, 1898, and in 1900 Mr. Scroggin was married to Mrs. Hattie (Landis) 
Cass, a cousin of Judge Kenesaw Landis, of Chicago, and a lady of culture and 
refinement, who has proven to her husband a loving and sympathetic help- 
mate. Mr. Scroggin since arriving at manhood's estate has been a supporter 
of the principles of the democratic party, but has at no time sought official 
position, as his attention has been mainly directed to the management of his 
agriculture and stock-raising interests. He is a stanch believer in the Bible 
as the revealed word and holds membership in the Christian church, having 
served for some years as a deacon in that denomination. He has for many 
years been known as a liberal supporter of educational and religious enterprises 
and is recognized as one of the leading citizens of the county. The property 
which he amassed through many years of industry and good management 
is a justly earned reward of large effort, but it is not on account of his wealth 
that he is esteemed— rather is it on account of a recognized character for 
honesty and efficiency and a generous-hearted sympathy for his fellowmen, 
which have ever been distinguishing features of his character. 



JUST S. FOMBELLE. 



Whitmore township finds a worthy representative of its farming interests in 
Just S. Fombelle, living on section 18, where a farm of three hundred and twenty 
acres pays tribute to the care and labor which he bestows upon it. He is living 
a very busy, active and useful life and his labors are rewarded in large and 
abundant crops for which he finds a ready sale on the market. He has made his 
home in Macon county since 1886 but dates his residence in Illinois from 1864. 

He was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, July 31, 1841, and spent his 
youthful days upon a farm there. His early education acquired in the common 
schools was supplemented by study in the Beaver Academy and for one term 
he engaged in teaching but the outbreak of the Civil war caused him to put 
aside personal interests and ambitions. He enlisted for active duty at the front 
in the fall of 1862 as an emergency recruit, joining the company at New Bright- 
on, Pennsylvania. He was with that command for four months, during which 
time he participated in some skirmishes and in scouting. At the end of that 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 117 

time he was honorably discharged and turned his attention to clerking, which 
he followed for three years in Pittsburg. He thus received a thorough business 
training and also pursued a course of study in the Iron City Commercial College. 
In 1864 he came west to Illinois, at length locating in this state after traveling 
about to a considerable extent through the west and south. He had spent a win- 
ter at New Orleans and from the Crescent city proceeded northward to Pulaski 
county, Illinois, establishing and conducting a general store at Villa Ridge, where 
he remained for four years. On the expiration of that period he sold out and 
removed to Randolph county, where he began dealing in grain and implements, 
conducting his business at Tilden, Illinois. He operated successfully there for 
a number of years and in 1886 came to Macon county. Here, turning his atten- 
tion to farming, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land where he 
now resides. To his original holdings he has since added, by a purchase that 
has made him owner of another one hundred and seventy acre tract, so that he 
now has the south half of section 18, Whitmore township. He has also made 
substantial improvements upon his place, including the erection of a large and 
commodious residence together with two barns, corn cribs and other outbuild- 
ings that furnish ample shelter for grain and stock. He has likewise planted 
fruit and shade trees, has fenced and tiled his land and has now a splendidly 
developed home property. He has likewise made substantial improvements 
upon his other place and it is now occupied by a tenant. In connection with the 
cultivation of the fields he has raised and fed stock, fattening a large amount of 
stock each year for the market. His attention at the present time, however, 
is mostly given to the production of grain. 

Mr. Fombelle was married in Pulaski county, Illinois, about 1867, to Miss 
Ella Russell, a native of Pennsylvania, who was reared in that state. She died 
in Randolph county, leaving two children: Ida, the wife of G. W. Pensinger, 
of Milmine, Illinois; and Ella, the wife of Clarence Turpin, a farmer of Whit- 
more township. In Randolph county, in 1882, Mr. Fombelle was again mar- 
ried, his second union being with Miss Mattie Alexander, who was born in 
that county. There are four children of this marriage : Mattie, the wife of 
George Austin, a farmer of Macon county; Just S., Jr., at home; Reid, also on 
the home farm ; and Ruth C, who is in school. 

Politically Mr. Fombelle has been a republican since casting his first presi- 
dential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He believes firmly in the principles 
of the party and does not hesitate to support his honest convictions. He is 
greatly interested in the cause of education and has served as a member of the 
school board for a number of years. He also filled the office of school trustee 
in his township and for some years was a member of the board of highway 
commissioners. He was likewise connected with the Township Mutual Insur- 
ance Company, serving on its board of directors, and was its president for 
some time. 

He joined the Masonic lodge in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and became a char- 
ter member of the lodge at Villa Ridge, serving there as secretary until his 
removal from the town. At the present writing he is not actively affiliated with 
any Masonic organizations. For twenty-four years he has lived in Macon 



118 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

county and his record throughout the entire period is such as has commended 
him to the confidence and good will of all who know him. He has a wide 
acquaintance and was a personal friend of James Millikin during his lifetime. 
He is classed with the public-spirited and progressive citizens and moreover 
is a man of tried integrity and worth. 



JOHN F. KEISTER. 



John F. Keister, who since 1897 has lived in honorable retirement at his 
residence at No. 165 1 North Main street in Decatur, was successfully iden- 
tified with agricultural interests in Macon county throughout his active business 
career. His birth occurred in York county, Pennsylvania, on the 15th of May, 
1843, his parents being Peter and Susan Keister, who were likewise natives of 
the Keystone state. They came to Macon county, Illinois, in 1850 and here 
spent the remainder of their lives, the father following farming as a means of 
livelihood. He was a republican in politics and became widely recognized as 
a substantial and representative citizen of the community. His demise oc- 
curred when he had attained the age of seventy-eight years, while his wife was 
eighty-three years old when called to her final rest. They had three children, 
as follows : a daughter who died in infancy ; John F., of this review ; and Julius, 
who married and reared a family and made his home in Chicago, where he 
passed away about 1898. 

John F. Keister, who was but a little lad of six when he came to this state 
with his parents, attended the subscription and public schools in his youthful 
years but his educational advantages were quite limited. However, he has 
greatly augmented his knowledge by reading, experience and observation and is 
now a well informed man. After putting aside his text-books he remained 
on the home farm with his father until he was married at the age of twenty- 
three. Following that important event in his life he started out as an agricul- 
turist on his own account and was successfully engaged in the work of the 
fields until the time of his retirement in 1897. For the past thirteen years 
he has made his home in Decatur, enjoying the fruits of his former toil in 
well earned ease. At the time of the Civil war he enlisted for service with 
the Union army in 1864, becoming a member of Company E, One Hundred 
and Forty-fifth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. When hostilities had ceased he 
was mustered out at Springfield. His regiment never participated in a regular 
battle but had several encounters with the guerrillas. 

In 1866 Mr. Keister was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Weaver, who 
was born in 1848, her parents being Samuel and Sarah (Saylor) Weaver, of 
Macon county. Mrs. Keister was the third in order of birth in a family of 
five children. By her marriage she became the mother of six children, the 
record of whom is as follows: Charles, who wedded a Miss Taggart, of Ma- 
con county, followed farming until he passed away at the comparatively early 
age of twenty-four years. Two sons, Clifford and Howard, still survive him. 
Mary, who gave her hand in marriage to Arthur Haines, of this county, be- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 119 

came the mother of two sons, Howard and Elwood, and is now deceased. 
Samuel died when but four years of age. Franklin passed away when twenty- 
one years old. Harriet, who wedded Fred Moore, of this county, died at the 
age of twenty-seven years, leaving one daughter, Lucille, who lives with our 
subject. Mabel, who makes her home in Decatur, is the wife of Charles Simms, 
a mechanic of that place. 

In politics Mr. Keister has always been a republican, being a stanch sup- 
porter of the party which was the defense of the Union during the Civil war. 
He still maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades through his 
membership in the Grand Army post at Maroa and is likewise identified with 
the Masonic fraternity there. Both he and his wife are devoted and consistent 
members of the Christian church, exemplifying its teachings in their daily lives. 
Mr. Keister has resided in this county for six decades and is therefore largely 
familiar with its annals from pioneer times down to the present. His life has 
ever been upright and honorable, his actions manly and sincere, and as the 
years have gone by he has proven his right to be classed with the leading trust- 
worthy and respected citizens of his community. 



H. L. OLDHAM. 



Public spirit, laudable ambition, ready ability and capacity for hard work 
and the power to see and grasp an opportunity are essential elements of success 
and in none of these requirements has H. L. Oldham ever been found lacking. It 
is not a matter of marvel therefore that he has established himself as one of the 
most progressive of Decatur's citizens, his efforts being of a character that has 
contributed largely to the welfare and upbuilding of the city as well as to his 
own success. He is now manager of the Orlando Powers block, was the or- 
ganizer and promoter of the Oldham Insurance Agency and has instituted va- 
rious other projects which are elements in the business life of Decatur. Of 
English nativity, H. L. Oldham was born on the Island of Jersey in 1870 and 
was educated in the Bedford grammar school and in Victoria College of his 
native land, completing the course in the latter institution by graduation. He 
had become a chartered accountant when he left England. He came to this 
country in 1890, unacquainted with social or business conditions in the new 
world. True he had a good education, was imbued with progressive ideas 
and had traveled to some extent through Europe, having met many noted 
personages of that country. His military experience in the English army and 
his love for outdoor sports gave him a splendid physical training which enabled 
him to enter athletic circles in America and win prominence therein. 

Soon after arriving in the new world Mr. Oldham began auditing United 
States branches of English insurance companies and for two years gave his at- 
tention to that business. Since 1892 he has resided in Decatur, where he has 
won recognition as a leading business man. Here he established the H. L. Old- 
ham Insurance Agency in 1893 and now represents fifteen of the most promi- 
nent and reliable old line companies, in which connection he has built up an ex- 



120 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

tensive business, writing a large amount of insurance annually. He wrote the 
first liability policy and the first rent policy in the city of Decatur. He also ne- 
gotiated the largest loan made in this city — a loan of one hundred thousand dol- 
lars, to Orlando Powers, at a very low rate of interest. This was made during 
the first free silver agitation when banks refused to make loans and if they did 
contracts bore the stipulation they should be paid in gold. His contract made 
with eastern capitalists, however, bore no such stipulation. Mr. Oldham like- 
wise has to his credit one of the largest real-estate deals ever made in Decatur — ■ 
a sale of the property on the corner of North Water and Prairie streets, in- 
volving seventy thousand dollars. He has also promoted three other deals above 
twenty-five thousand dollars each, beside others of almost equal importance. He 
is also president of the local board of fire underwriters of Decatur and has 
been manager of the Orlando Powers block since the erection of the new build- 
ing fourteen years ago. 

While conducting important private business interests Mr. Oldham has never 
been neglectful of his obligations to the city and in fact has put forth practical 
and far-reaching effort for the benefit of Decatur along various lines. It was 
he who originated the movement resulting in the ornamental boulevard lights 
by putting in such lights around the Powers block, while at the same time he 
influenced the Illinois Traction Company to install similar lights around the 
interurban station. This system has been followed by many other property own- 
ers in business streets, making Decatur one of the best lighted cities of the 
Mississippi valley, the tasteful arrangement and design of the lights constituting 
also a source of beauty as well as utility. He has many other propositions which 
he is pushing forward for the advancement of Decatur. Possibly no young 
business man has done more for the advancement of the city than he. Because 
of his advanced ideas he has in the past met much opposition and made some 
enemies but all hostility has been overcome, for his plans have proven practical 
and he is now backed by the best that this part of the state affords in brains 
and capital. 



GEORGE W. LYONS. 



George W. Lyons, a defender of the Union at the time of the Civil war, now 
living at No. 759 North College street, Decatur, was born March 22, 1845, in St. 
Joseph county, Michigan. He is a son of Charles E. and Wealthy A. (Ames) 
Lyons, the former of whom was born in Scotland and the latter in New York 
state. The father came to this country at seven years of age with three brothers. 
The ship in which he made the voyage was wrecked on the coast of Virginia, 
but they escaped with their lives and Charles E. Lyons was reared by Marshall 
Livermore, of Wheeling, Virginia, now West Virginia. He became a farmer 
and lived in Macon county, Illinois, from 1858 to 1875, owning land on what 
is now the site of Dreamland Park, Decatur. During the Civil war he served 
for three years in the Federal army and was wounded at Mobile, Alabama, but 
entirely recovered and is now living at Springdale, Arkansas, having arrived at 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 121 

the advanced age of about ninety- four years. In 1882 the mother of our sub- 
ject departed this life at the age of sixty-two years. Geoerge W. is the eldest 
of their children, the others being: Charles E., who died in Leesburg, Missouri, 
in 1910; Jane, a resident of that state; Hugh N., who also lives in Missouri; 
Gus, who died in this county in 1869; and one son who died in infancy in Cass 
county, Texas. 

Educated in the common schools of Michigan, the subject of this review came 
with his parents to Decatur in 1859 and soon began to learn the blacksmith's 
trade. In 1862, at the age of seventeen, he enlisted in Company A, One Hun- 
dred and Sixteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving with the highest credit 
to himself and the noble cause which he represented until he was mustered out 
at Washington in June, 1865. He participated with his regiment in many of 
the great engagements and campaigns of the war and was present at the battle 
of Arkansas Post and the siege of Vicksburg, the latter of which continued for 
forty-seven days. He assisted about three months on the Ben Butler canal that 
was cut across Young's Point on the Mississippi river in order that boats might 
pass up on the stream without coming in range of the rebel batteries at Vicks- 
burg. Later he took part in the advance to Jackson and was in the 
battle of Missionary Ridge. He was one of the men who ran the blockade in 
pontoon boats across the Tennessee river and now has in his possession a flag 
that was carried on that memorable occasion. He has been custodian of this 
interesting relic for forty-four years and expects to hand it down as an heir- 
loom to future generations of the family. He was present under Sherman on 
the march from Atlanta to the sea and took part in the battles of Raymond, 
Dalton, Snake Creek Gap and Buzzard's Roost. He was also present at At- 
lanta the day General McPherson was captured and fourteen cannon were taken 
from the Union forces by the Confederates. He stood in the presence of death 
a number of times, especially in the great charge when General Hood under- 
took to destroy Sherman's army at Atlanta, July 28, 1864, and in the charge 
at Jonesboro, Georgia. After the close of the war he returned to Decatur and 
resumed his work at the anvil until 1875, when he became connected with the 
Farris & Oaks Novelty Company. He continued with that firm for six years, 
acting as foreman during two years of that period. Since 1885 he has engaged 
successfully in the feed and grain business and has built up a fine patronage 
among the best class of customers in Decatur. 

In 1867 Mr. Lyons was united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane Strailey, a 
daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Strailey, both of whom were natives of Pennsyl- 
vania. She was the second in a family of three children and was born May 18, 
1846. Three children have come to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Lyons, of 
whom Ulysses S., of Rockford, Illinois, is the eldest. He was married to Miss 
Annie Coble and has seven children and two grandchildren. Arthur S., the 
second child, was married to Ella Simpson, of Illinois. He is now living in 
Decatur and is the father of two children. Nora M., the third in order of birth, 
married Harold J. Palmer, of Chicago, and is the mother of one child. 

Mr. Lyons is a stanch supporter of the republican party and he and his wife 
are members of the Church of God of Decatur. He also holds membership in 
Dunham Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and in the various duties of life 



122 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

has attempted to perform his part faithfully. He was a valiant soldier in times 
of danger and in times of peace he has assisted to the extent of his ability in 
maintaining the Union for which he so freely offered his life. He is justly en- 
titled to the highest respect of the generation now enjoying the blessings for 
which he so nobly fought. 



MAXWELL W. SHULTZ. 

Only noble traits of character leave their impress and cause the memory of 
man to be enshrined in the hearts of those who knew him. The splendid life 
of Maxwell W. Shultz, his many excellencies and his devotion to high ideals, 
make his record worthy of perpetuation on the pages of the history of the city 
which he called his home. He was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, May 4, 
1849, a son OI Chauncey F. and Hadassah Chambers (Brown) Shultz, the 
former a native of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and the latter of Chambers- 
burg, Pennsylvania. The Chambers family were the founders of Chambers- 
burg and were of English lineage, while the Shultz family comes of Swiss 
ancestry. The father acquired a liberal education in the public and high schools 
of the east and remained a resident of that part of the country until 1858, 
when he went down the Ohio and up the Mississippi river to St. Louis, estab- 
lishing his home in that city. He was the first commissioner of Forest Park, 
one of the largest parks in the United States. He was also appointed sub- 
treasurer by President Cleveland at St. Louis and likewise filled the office of 
county judge. His prominence in public affairs made him widely known and 
he left his impress for good upon the welfare, progress and development of 
the city. His was a long, useful and honorable life, which closed on the 23d 
of August, 1908, at the age of eighty-five years. He had long survived his 
wife, who passed away in 1887. 

Maxwell W. Shultz was a little lad of nine years when his parents removed 
to St. Louis. He acquired his education in the public and high schools and 
also in a commercial college. He learned the drug business, being graduated 
from a school of pharmacy. Subsequently he established both a retail and 
wholesale drug store at Peoria, Illinois, and conducted it for five years, win- 
ning success because of hard work and close application but his health gave 
way and he sold out. He then sought an outdoor situation and became travel- 
ing salesman for Truax, Green & Company, a wholesale house of Chicago, 
with which he remained until his death, which occurred on the 21st of October, 
1909. He was a very successful salesman, his territory covering central Illi- 
nois, where he built up for the house a large and profitable business. In 1887 
he removed to Decatur, where he continued to make his home until called to his 
final rest, twenty-two years later. He was a man of high moral standing and 
his life was characterized by many good deeds and kindly, considerate acts. 
He was especially friendly and helpful toward young men, encouraging them 
to make life a success and giving them timely and friendly advice. During 
most of his residence in Decatur he resided at No. 351 West William street, 
and in addition to that property he owned considerable real estate in the city. 




f 




fyJ%uivu«jL 3. SJaMr 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 127 

On the 29th of May, 1882, Mr. Shultz was married to Miss Catherine E. 
Taylor, of Richmond, Iowa, a daughter of Rinaldo C. and Martha Jane (Moore) 
Taylor. Her birthplace was Churchville, Virginia, and her natal day March 
6, 1858. Her father was a native of Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, and 
her mother of Churchville, Virginia. The ancestry of the Moore family is traced 
back to the Mayflower and among the early ancestors of Mrs. Shultz were 
those who fought in the war for independence, entitling her to membership in 
the Daughters of the American Revolution. Joining that organization, she has 
served as secretary of the local chapter for four years and was regent for two 
years. Her parents made the overland trip to the middle west in 1859 and 
became pioneer residents of Iowa. They preempted large tracts of land from the 
government, becoming owners of thousands of acres there. Peter Moore, the 
great-grandfather of Mrs. Shultz in the maternal line, was a soldier of the 
Revolutionary war and also of the war of 1812. He lived for many years to 
enjoy the fruits of labor, passing away in 1820. He had reached a very ven- 
erable age and the family is noted for longevity, two aunts of Mrs. Shultz on 
the mother's side being now nearly ninety years of age and residents of Iowa. 
Another aunt living in Kentucky, is eighty-two years of age. One child was 
born unto Mr. and Mrs. Shultz but died in infancy. 

Mr. Shultz was a prominent Mason of high degree and belonged to Medinah 
Temple of the Mystic Shrine in Chicago. He was a very charitable man, giv- 
ing freely of his means for the benefit and aid of others and no good work 
done in the name of charity or religion sought his assistance in vain. His polit- 
ical allegiance was given to the democracy. He belonged to the Sons of the 
Revolution and was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church, in the work 
of which he took an active and helpful part. Mrs. Shultz is also a very promi- 
nent member of that church. For several years she served as president of the 
missionary and of the aid societies of the church and for twenty years was 
corresponding secretary of the Presbyterial society. For four years she acted 
as president of the Missionary Social Union and all branches of church work 
received her hearty cooperation and assistance. She also became president of 
the Municipal Art League, which she brought to the present high standard 
of organization. This is the only art league in Illinois outside of Chicago. She 
acted as chairman of the art and literature division for two years and for four 
years was chairman of the art committee of the Woman's Club. She is a lady 
of liberal culture and natural refinement and of broad education as well, for, 
having completed a high-school course, after the removal of the family to Iowa 
from her native town of Churchville, Virginia, she attended the Iowa State 
University at Iowa City. She has recently returned from a trip abroad, dur- 
ing which time as a delegate she attended the World's Missionary Conference 
held in Edinburgh, Scotland. She visited various points in Europe, Asia and 
Africa, going eight hundred and fifteen miles up the river Nile and she also 
witnessed the performance of the Passion Play at Oberammergau. Both Mr. 
and Mrs. Shultz were prominent in Decatur's leading social circles. 

That Mr. Shultz was a most earnest Christian and a man of the highest 
principles and of sterling worth is indicated in the fact that at his death his 
widow received many letters of sympathy and condolence from all parts of 



128 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

the United States. His death occurred after an illness of only ten days and 
was most deeply regretted by all who knew him but his memory will be enshrined 
in the hearts of his friends for years to come and will remain as a blessed bene- 
diction to those with whom he was brought in contact. 

"Were a star quenched on high, 
For ages would its light 
Still traveling downward from the sky 
Shine on our mortal sight. 

So when a good man dies, 

For years beyond our ken 
The light he leaves behind him lies 

Upon the paths of men." 



DOCTOR TURPIN. 



Doctor Turpin now residing in Oreana, was for many years one of the well 
known farmers of Whitmore township, where he owned and cultivated two hun- 
dred acres of good land that constituted a well improved and valuable farm. 
He dates his residence in Illinois from 1867, and Macon from 1870. His birth 
occurred in Hendricks county, Indiana, on the 16th of September, 1841. His 
father, Robison Turpin, was born in Kentucky and was a son of Jacob Turpin. 
The former spent his youth in his native state and was there married to Miss 
Rachel George Powell, a native of Kentucky. On their removal to Indiana they 
settled in Hendricks county where Robison Turpin developed a new farm, be- 
coming the owner of a large tract of land which he brought under a high state of 
cultivation. He reared his family upon that place and there spent his last days, 
being numbered among the enterprising, progressive and highly respected agricul- 
turists of that community. His family numbered six sons who reached ma- 
ture years, and two daughters who grew to womanhood and married. Of these, 
three sons and one daughter are still living, namely : Harvey, a resident of Boone 
county, Indiana; Jacob Thomas, who owns and cultivates the old home farm in 
Hendricks county; Doctor Turpin, of this review; and Mrs. Martha Gorham, 
who is living in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

The youthful days of Doctor Turpin were spent upon the home farm, and 
he had just attained his majority when in response to the country's call for 
troops, he enlisted at Indianapolis in 1862, and was a member of Company F, 
Fifth Indiana Cavalry. With that command he went to the south, the regiment 
joining the army of the Cumberland with which he participated in a number of 
lesser engagements and skirmishes in Tennessee and Georgia. Afterward he 
was with Sherman in the celebrated Atlanta campaign until taken prisoner, when 
he was sent to Andersonville and later transferred to Florence. The period of 
his incarceration covered seven months, at the end of which time he was paroled 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 129 

and returned home. He was at the barracks at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, 
through the summer and later was honorably discharged. Following his return 
home Doctor Turpin engaged in farming and in 1867 removed westward to 
Illinois, settling first in Sangamon county, where he worked by the month for 
a year. He then rented land and engaged in farming on his own account in 
Sangamon county. It was also in that county that he wedded Miss Mary Eliza- 
beth Ayers, who was born in Owen county, Kentucky, a daughter of Sanford 
B. Ayers, also a native of the Blue Grass state. He was married in Owen 
county to Miss Emeline Z. Beatty, a native of Kentucky, and in 1854 they re- 
moved to Illinois, establishing their home in Sangamon county. 

Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Turpin removed to Macon county 
and he purchased land in Whitmore township, becoming owner of a forty acre 
tract upon which was a little house. He carefully and systematically developed 
his fields, and as his labors brought to him good return he added to the prop- 
erty from time to time until he became the owner of two hundred acres. Upon 
the place he erected a good residence ; likewise two barns, cribs and outbuildings. 
He also planted some fruit trees, fenced and tiled the fields and continued 
farming there with excellent success until 1904, when he removed to Oreana 
where he erected a good residence which he now owns and occupies. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Turpin have been born four children: Ida May, at 
home; Clara, the wife of Oliver Gould of Decatur; William Clarence, who 
carries on the home farm and is married and has one child Elizabeth ; and 
Alice, the wife of Oscar D. Philips of Oreana, by whom she has two daughters, 
Grace Imogene and Dorothy Marie. Mr. and Mrs. Turpin are members 
of the Christian church in which he is serving as a trustee. He votes a demo- 
cratic ticket where national issues are involved, but casts an independent local 
ballot in support of the candidates whom he thinks best qualified for office. 

His life has been well spent, and for over forty years he has lived in 
Macon county enjoying and meriting to the fullest extent the confidence, good 
will and honor of his fellowmen. He has never sought to figure prominently 
in public affairs, but has always been loyal to the best interests of the com- 
munity and to the standards of high and honorable manhood. Such a person 
has distinct value as a factor in the citizenship of the community in which he 
resides. 



B. HILTON CASSELL. 



Among the men prominently operating in real-estate circles is B. Hilton Cas- 
sell, and his efforts are an element in the substantial growth and development 
in the city. When Decatur contained only a few hundred inhabitants he started 
upon life's journey here, the date of his birth being March 20, 1846. His par- 
ents were Berry H. and Louise M. (Shultz) Cassell, natives of East Hanover, 
Pennsylvania and Maryland, respectively. They were pioneer people of Macon 
county, arriving when Decatur had not yet emerged from villagehood and gave 
but little evidence of future growth and development. The father was a tinner 



130 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

by trade and carried on that business for several years, after which he turned 
his attention to the hardware business, becoming the junior partner in the firm 
of Prather & Cassell, their store being upon the present site of the Morehouse & 
Wells building which is now being erected. From time to time he extended 
the scope of his activities and became a prominent factor in the substantial 
growth of the city. In 1856 he was in the hotel business as a member of the 
firm of Cassell, Stroh & Henderson, the hostelry being known as the Cassell 
House, which stood on the present site of the St. Nicholas. His varied business 
activities and his prominence in other directions made him well known throughout 
this section of the state. A tract of land which he purchased at the east end of 
the city at an early day is now built up almost solidly with residences. He also 
purchased eight acres of land known as Cassell Hill, a tract almost circular in 
form, and on this he erected a beautiful residence now owned and occupied by 
B. Hilton Cassell and designated throughout the city as Cassell's Castle. The 
death of Mr. Cassell occurred October 12, 1904. His wife had passed away 
October 21, 1903. 

Mr. Cassell was reared in Decatur, attended the public schools and after his 
marriage removed to a farm in Decatur township, which remained his place of 
abode until 1901. He is still the owner of two hundred acres of valuable land, 
to the cultivation and development of which he devoted a number of years, trans- 
forming it into one of the valuable and highly productive properties of this re- 
gion. In 1901 he removed into his father's old home which is now his resi- 
dence. He also owns about twenty houses in Decatur which he leases, and as 
a speculative builder he has become well know, erecting various dwellings for 
the purpose of sale. His intention is to divide the old homestead, consisting of 
eight acres, into building lots and make it one of the ideal residence districts 
of the city. 

In 1872 Mr. Cassell was married to Miss Fannie W. Harrison, of Ohio, and 
unto them have been born three sons: Louis B., now engaged in the practice of 
law; Fred R., who follows farming; and Otto D., who is engaged in the real- 
estate business. Mrs. Cassell is a daughter of Matthew and Lydia (Plummer) 
Harrison, both natives of Ohio, where the father died. He was a farmer by 
occupation. After his death Mrs. Harrison came to Macon county, Illinois, 
and here she passed away in October, 1898. In their family were fourteen 
children, seven of whom are living at the present time. Two sons died in An-- 
dersonville prison during the Civil war. 

Mr. Cassell is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of Macon Lodge, 
No. 8, A. F. & A. M., Macon Chapter, No. 21, R. A. M.; Decatur Council, No. 
12, R. & S. M.; Beaumonoir Commandery, No. 9, K. T. ; Peoria Consistory, 
S. P. R. S.; Decatur Chapter, No. in, O. E. S.; Mecca Shrine, No. 15; and the 
White Shrine of Jerusalem, and his wife is also a member of the Eastern Star 
and the White Shrine. 

Mr. Cassell was born in the house which stood on the site of the Linn & 
Scruggs dry goods store, in a long building which had been used for a wagon 
and paint shop. His father had a little tin shop in the east end of the building, 
the family occupying the west end. Decatur at that time had less then a thousand 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 131 

population. He has, therefore, witnessed its growth to a city of thirty-five 
thousand — one of the most progressive and enterprising in Illinois. He has not 
only maintained a deep interest in what has been accomplished but has also 
borne his share in the work of development, his cooperation being 
a tangible factor in various movements for the general good. He is today one 
of Decatur's most popular and prominent residents and a well spent life is in- 
dicated in the fact that many of his stanchest friends are those who have known 
him from his boyhood to the present time. 



JACOB M. LEHMAN. 

Jacob M. Lehman, now deceased, who was a highly respected member of the 
farming community of Hickory Point township, Macon county, was born in 
Ohio, in September, 1838. He was a son of Henry Lehman, a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, who moved to Ohio, where he was married, and came to Illinois in 1843, 
first settling in Decatur. He became the owner of one hundred and sixty acres 
of land in the county and moved to the farm about 1858, and there he died twenty 
years later, in 1878. The mother of our subject was before her marriage Mary 
Cushner. She was a native of Maryland and was born in 1818 and died in this 
county two years before her husband was called away. There were ten children 
in their family, two of whom are now living: Mrs. Bixler, of Decatur; and Mary. 

The subject of our review came to Illinois with his parents and was educated 
in the public schools, working upon the farm as he grew up and becoming thor- 
oughly familiar with its operations. He was still at home at the time of the 
Civil war and was one of the valiant young men who went forth under the stars 
and stripes to defend the Union. He enlisted in the Eighth Illinois Volunteers 
and served with the highest credit to himself and his regiment for three years. 
At the close of his period of service he was honorably discharged and returned 
to the home farm, continuing there until 1873, when he began farming upon his 
own account. In 1874 he bought the present homestead of the family, which 
is located in Hickory Point township and consists of one hundred and ten acres, 
with a handsome residence and all the improvements of a modern farm. He also 
acquired eighty acres of land in the northern part of the county and became 
recognized as one of the enterprising and successful farmers of his region. 

Politically Mr. Lehman supported the principles of the republican party for 
a number of years but later changed his allegiance to the democratic party as 
best representing the ideals of a free people. He was a man of good discern- 
ment, a wise manager and one who was devotedly attached to his wife and chil- 
dren. His death, July 21, 1902, caused general regret throughout the region 
where he was well known and much esteemed for his noble qualities. 

In 1873 occurred the marriage of Jacob M. Lehman and Miss Catherine 
Weaver, a daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Seiler) Weaver, who were natives of 
Pennsylvania and came to Illinois in 1850 and settled in Macon county. Here 
the head of the family bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, upon which 



132 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

he began operations and evinced such an ability as an agriculturist and stock- 
raiser that at the time of his death, in 1905, at the age of eighty-two years, he 
was the owner of about twenty-five hundred acres of land in Macon, Shelby and 
Piatt counties. Mrs. Weaver was born in 1825 and departed this life in the 
same year as her beloved husband. They were the parents of five children : Al- 
fred and Charles, both of Decatur ; Nancy, now Mrs. Keister, of Decatur ; Cathe- 
rine, herein mentioned; and Mrs. Susan Crossman, of Harristown, this county. 
The union of Mr. and Mrs. Lehman was blessed by the arrival of seven children, 
all of whom are now living: Ruth, the wife of Dr. Albert Mowry, of Chicago, 
and the mother of one child, Marian; Alfred, who married Irene Stone, of 
Macon county, and is the father of two children, Ralph and Ruth ; Charles, who 
married Maude Cox, of Piatt county, this state, and has three children, Owen, 
Gladys and Lola ; Jacob, who married Nellie Cress, now deceased, who was the 
mother of one child, Merle, also deceased; Bertram, who is living with his 
brother in Piatt county ; Ivah, who married Charles Lyman and is the mother of 
two children, Maxine and Rhonette ; and John, who is living at home. Mrs. Leh- 
man is now living on the family homestead and is accorded the respect of friends 
and acquaintance and the love of her children, to whom she has been, indeed, a 
true and self-sacrificing mother. 



DAVID STEWART. 



A successful farmer of Macon county is David Stewart who all his life has 
been identified with this immediate vicinity. He represents a well known pio- 
neer family which settled in this region at an early day and assisted in the great 
work of breaking the soil for the peaceful communities that are to be seen on 
every hand. Mr. Stewart was born December 6, 1859, and is a son of Angus 
L. and Mary (Krone) Stewart, the former of whom was born in Trumbull 
county, Ohio, in 1820, and died in this county February 11, 1904. There were 
only a few houses in Decatur when the father arrived in Macon county and dur- 
ing his life he was a witness of the great change by means of which the wilder- 
ness was transformed into beautiful farms. He was a carpenter and after work- 
ing for a time at his trade in Decatur he acquired a claim for a tract of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres of land, later receiving a deed for the same from the gov- 
ernment. After taking up his residence upon the farm he increased its area by 
the addition of twenty-two acres and at the time of his death was the owner of 
a well improved farm of one hundred and eighty-two acres. The last seven 
years of his life were passed at Oreana, Illinois, where he lived retired. The 
mother was a native of Pennsylvania and was born in 1832, departing this life 
after many years of usefulness in January, 1905. A review of the Krone family 
appears in another part of this work. Thirteen children were born to Mr. and 
Mrs. Stewart, six of whom are now living: David, our subject; Robert and 
Samuel, of Macon county; Frank, of Kansas; Nettie, now Mrs. V. W. Benton, 
of Macon county ; and Mary, also of Macon county. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 133 

The subject of this review grew up as a farm boy and received his education 
in the district school. After laying aside his books he assisted his father in con- 
ducting the farm for several years and at twenty-one years of age he rented land 
in the neighborhood, upon which he lived for eleven years. At the end of this 
time he removed to the northwestern part of the county where he farmed for 
two years, then returned to this region and in 1897 took up his residence on the 
old homestead which is owned by heirs of the family, our subject having acquired 
the share of one of his brothers. Here he conducts general farming and has at- 
tained a goodly measure of success. 

On February 23, 1882, Mr. Stewart was united in marriage to Miss Emma 
Lowery, a daughter of John D. and Frances (Harris) Lowery, natives of New 
York city, who came to Illinois at an early day and settled in Fayette county. 
There were five children in the family, three of whom are living: Emma, herein 
mentioned ; Stella, and Dora. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart was bright- 
ened by the arrival of one child, Alta, who was married to Forest Pope. They 
now live on the home farm and have been the parents of four children, three of 
whom are living: David, Goldie and Bonnie. 

Mr. Stewart has been a lifelong adherent of the democratic party and al- 
though he has never been an office seeker, he has served with general acceptance 
as commissioner of highways. Fraternally he holds membership in the Independ- 
ent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Modern Woodmen 
of America, all of Forsyth, Illinois. In his various responsibilities and duties, 
whether public or private, Mr. Stewart has at all times been actuated by a con- 
sistent desire to advance the general interest. In his work he has been ably as- 
sisted by his estimable wife who is in all respects a worthy helpmate to her life 
companion. 



LAFAYETTE GULICK. 

Lafayette Gulick, a well known farmer of Macon county now living retired 
after many years of successful operations in agriculture and stock-raising, was 
born in this county, August 2, 1849. He is the son of Levi and Harriet (Miler) 
Gulick, the former a native of Loudoun county, Virginia, and the latter of Ohio. 
The father came to Illinois in the early days and entered nearly seven hundred 
acres of government land in Hickory Point and Decatur townships and became 
one of the substantial farmers of the county. In 1853 he made a visit to his old 
home in Virginia on horseback and on his return was taken sick with cholera and 
died at Logansport, Indiana. In this county he was well known as a general 
farmer and stock-raiser and also as a buyer of hogs, having engaged very largely 
in that business at the time when it was customary to drive hogs to the St. Louis 
market. He was also a large feeder of live-stock. The mother was again mar- 
ried after the death of the father and became the wife of John Sawyer. She 
died in this county in 1892. By her first husband she had four children: Julia, 
had three children: Anna, now Mrs. Hornsbarger; Alice, who died in 1880; and 
Frank and Mary E., all deceased; and Lafayette. By her second husband she 
Edwin. 



134 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Lafayette Gulick was reared upon the home farm and educated in the public 
schools. After becoming thoroughly acquainted with farming in its various 
phases, he commenced cultivating a tract of eighty acres which his father gave 
him. Later he purchased one hundred and sixty acres adjoining, so he had a 
farm of two hundred and forty acres, and this property he brought to a high 
state of cultivation, making it one of the most productive farms in the locality. 
After conducting the farm for twenty years Mr. Gulick erected a handsome 
residence on the old Barber place, on the Bloomington pike, southeast of the old 
home and there he has lived retired since 1905, being now the fortunate owner 
of six hundred and forty acres of land, comprising several farms in Hickory 
Point township, and one of its most responsible citizens. 

On September 22, 1870, Mr. Gulick was united in marriage to Miss Martha 
A. Montgomery, a daughter of William F. and Amelia (Suver) Montgomery, 
the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Ohio. The parents came to 
Illinois previous to the Civil war and were identified with farming interests. 
There were seven children in their family: Rachel, who became Mrs. Hays but 
is now deceased; Samuel, a resident of Decatur; Mary, who became Mrs. Hanks, 
of Hickory township; Amelia, now living with Mrs. Hanks; Frank and Patrick 
H., of Decatur; and Martha A., wife of our subject. To Mr. and Mrs. Gulick 
four children have been born: Nellie, who was born in 1872 and died in 1892; 
Frank, who married a Miss McMahan, whose parents were living on one of his 
father's farm, and has two children, Bernice and Frank; Bernard M., who mar- 
ried Miss Louisa Love, the daughter of a farmer in the same neighborhood; 
Fred L., who married a Miss Grace Pope, whose parents were living on one of 
his father's farms, and has one child, Evelyn. 

Mr. Gulick ever since arriving at man's estate has been a supporter of the 
democratic party but he has never sought official honors, as his principal inter- 
est has been centered in his family and his farms. The success that has attended 
his life work has been due to industry and sound judgment, the latter element 
being the leading feature of his character. He and his estimable wife now en- 
joy in peace and prosperity the results of their well directed labors, and it is 
scarcely necessary to add that they are greatly esteemed by their neighbors and 
by the many friends they have made in this part of the county. 



LEWIS HARDY CLARK, M. D. 

Sixth in direct descent from noted colonial ancestry, with a long line of 
prominent American progenitors on both sides of the house, Dr. Lewis H. Clark, 
of Decatur, occupies a unique place in the genealogical records of citizens now 
living in Illinois. The Revolutionary patriot, Nathaniel Clark, was a member 
of this family and the name Clark in many states of the Union attests the 
virility of the early stock, which has been transmitted from generation to gen- 
eration, almost unimpaired, from worthy forebears. 

The subject of this review is a native of Christian county, Illinois, and is 
a son of Dr. Joseph H. and Lydia D. (Hardy) Clark. The father was born 




DR. LEWIS H. CLARK 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 137 

in Christian county, Kentucky, April 6, 1819, and was a practicing physician 
from 1855 to the time of his decease in 1880. He was married to Lydia D. 
Hardy, also of Christian county, Kentucky, in 1840, and the couple removed 
to Christian county, Illinois, in 1844. He was one of the pioneer settlers of 
Taylorville, where he built up a practice which extended over a wide range of 
country. He served as captain in the Fifth Missouri Battalion for six months 
during the summer of 1862, the battalion later being merged into Company B 
of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry. The Doctor was an old line democrat and in 
religious views a Universalist. He was a self-made man of striking person- 
ality and in the earlier years of his active life was a school teacher, meanwhile 
studying medicine and becoming a practitioner of the eclectic school. His body 
reposes in an old cemetery in Christian county, Illinois. His wife died in 
Butler, Bates county, Missouri, at the age of seventy-eight years, in 1902, and 
was there buried. In the family were eleven children, five sons and six daugh- 
ters, and six of the number grew to maturity and reared families. 

Tracing the ancestry in regular ascent we have James C, father of Joseph 
H. Clark and grandfather of Lewis Hardy Clark. He was born in Barren county, 
Kentucky, on June 13, 1791, but lived for a number of years in Christian county, 
Kentucky, where he was well known as a farmer and an old time esquire. He 
served in the war of 1812 and was at one time a member of the Kentucky legis- 
lature. He was married in his native state to Miss Hannah Henderson. They 
reared a family of eleven children and removed to Christian county, Illinois, 
where the head of the family departed this life in 1874, his remains being buried 
on the land which he had located upon when it was a wilderness. In the same 
graveyard lies his wife, the partner of his joys and sorrows and one of the 
representative pioneer women who risked their lives in accompanying their 
husbands to new homes amidst the uncertainties of the frontier. Grandfather 
Clark may truly be regarded as one of the makers of history in Illinois. His 
cabin door opened freely to every hungry traveler and the stranger was made 
to feel at home under the shelter of that humble roof. Wild animals abounded 
along the great streams and on the great prairies, and meat was plentiful dur- 
ing the greater part of the year. The first preaching services of the neighbor- 
hood were held at the home of this patriarch. He lived to see the country trans- 
formed into growing fields of grain and many hamlets develop into prosperous 
towns and cities. The great-grandfather of Lewis Hardy Clark, was Bolin 
Clark, who served in the Revolution under General Nathaniel Greene, and later 
took up his home in Kentucky, then the principal region of attraction for many 
settlers who felt crowded in the more thickly populated states east of the Alle- 
ghanies. The descendants of many of these old eastern families afterward 
caught the same feeling of restlessness and were among the founders of Illi- 
nois, Missouri, Iowa and other great states. On the maternal side the sub- 
ject of this review may point with pride to his grandfather Hardy, who was 
a famous Indian fighter and served as captain of a brave company of rangers 
who assisted in freeing the border of its greatest peril. Nathaniel Henderson, 
of the paternal branch, was an early settler of Tennessee and was the prime 
mover in having the state set off from North Carolina, of which it was originally 
a part. 



138 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Dr. Lewis Hardy Clark, our immediate subject, was the third child in the 
family of Dr. Joseph H. Clark. He first saw the light of day in Christian 
county, Illinois, June 29, 1844. Reared on the farm, he shared the simple 
pleasures and also the hardships of the homes established under primitive sur- 
roundings and lacking most of the conveniences now regarded as indispensable 
in every household. He attended the district schools and in his nineteenth year 
was granted a teacher's certificate and began teaching school in his native 
county, continuing as a teacher for several years. Previous to this time, at the 
age of seventeen, he enlisted in the Missouri State Militia and served from 
September, 1861, to February 28, 1862. The experience he gained in the war, 
although he was then just merging into manhood and too young to serve in the 
regular forces, made a lasting impression and has been a great benefit in shap- 
ing his after life. 

Dr. Clark began the study of medicine under his father in 1866, later attend- 
ing the Eclectic Medical College at Cincinnati and graduating from that in- 
stitution in 1868. His studies have been conducted on broad principles, as he 
early recognized that all schools of medicine have at least some principles of 
truth, and he also applies allopathic remedies in cases to which they seem 
best adapted. The tendency toward unification in medical practice as in many 
other lines is becoming generally acknowledged and in many communities practi- 
tioners of all reputable schools meet in harmony. Dr. Clark practiced at Tay- 
lorville from 1868 until 1881, when he removed to Decatur, where he has since 
resided. At Taylorville he served as councilman for a number of years, but 
the duties of his chosen profession have mainly occupied his attention and he 
has never aspired to political honors. As a practitioner he has proven eminently 
successful and during an active experience of more than forty years in one 
of the most arduous of professions has accomplished a great deal of good 
throughout a wide region in alleviating the ills of his fellowmen. He is a 
member of the Macon County Medical Society, the Illinois State Medical Society 
and the Eclectic Medical Association. He also holds membership in the Knights 
of Pythias, Court of Honor, Modern Woodmen of America and Loyal Ameri- 
cans. For twenty years past he has filled the office of deacon of the First Bap- 
tist church and in all the relations of life he is known as one whose constant 
aim is to perform his duty. 

On the 29th of October, 1868, by Rev. G. J. Barrett, Dr. Clark was united 
in marriage to Miss Elnora Maxwell, of Christian county. One daughter has 
blessed this union : Juanita E., who is a graduate of the Decatur high school 
and who is the happy possessor of musical ability in an unusual degree. Her 
talent became manifest during her school days and after completing the high- 
school course she received musical instruction under some of the best masters 
in the Chicago conservatories. As organist of the First Baptist church, which 
possesses one of the best pipe organs in central Illinois, she has assisted 
materially in adding to the interest of the services. She is also teacher of a 
large class of pupils in various stages of advancement. 

It has been said that every hour employed usefully is so much capital that 
ultimately draws prodigious interest. Certainly does the truth of this thought 
appear as a result of the long and honorable career of the gentleman whose 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 139 

name appears at the head of this review. Imbued with right principles in youth, 
he has adhered to the best traditions of a family which has produced many 
names worthy of any honor that may accrue to them and of the highest confidence 
of their associates and friends. 



JOSEPH F. TRIMMER. 

The Civil war attracted many of the promising young men of our country, 
who offered their lives to support the stars and stripes and were received into 
the army often before they arrived at years of maturity. These young men were 
made of good fighting material and on many a closely contested battlefield they 
demonstrated their worthiness. Among the number was Joseph F. Trimmer 
who is now engaged in the peaceful occupation of farming and is the fortunate 
owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land in Hickory Point township 
this county. 

He first saw the light of day in Perry county, Pennsylvania, in 1845. His 
father, Joseph F. Trimmer, Sr., was also born in Pennsylvania in 1818 and came 
to Illinois in 1853, settling upon a farm in Macon county. The grandparents 
of our subject belonged to old Pennsylvania families whose ancestors came from 
Germany many years ago. The father was a landowner in the Keystone state, 
but on settling in Illinois he rented land and continued as a renter for eleven 
years, at the end of which time he bought the Mound farm which he had pre- 
viously been renting and which constituted one hundred and sixty acres. Later 
he purchased a farm one mile east, which also included one hundred and sixty 
acres, and at the time of his death, in 1886, he was the owner of three hun- 
dred and twenty acres of land. He was a republican in politics and was greatly 
respected by friends and neighbors in the community. The mother of our sub- 
ject before her marriage was Catherine Fetrow, who was born in Pennsylvania 
in 1820 and lived to the advanced age of eighty-seven years, departing this life 
in 1907. There were nine children in the family: Andrew; William, who died 
in 1864; Abraham, of Ohio; Joseph, our subject; Mary, who married Isaiah 
Henry, and is now a widow ; Daniel, of Indiana ; Henry, deceased ; John, of De- 
catur; and George, deceased. 

Joseph F. Trimmer came to Illinois with his parents as a boy in 1853 and 
one of his early recollections is the long trip in a wagon drawn by three horses, 
the journey requiring several weeks. He received his education in the public 
schools and on leaving school devoted his attention to the work upon the farm 
in which he assisted his father most assiduously. When he was seventeen years 
of age the great Civil war was in full progress and threatened to engulf the re- 
public, and like thousands of valiant young men, he offered his services in be- 
half of the flag and was accepted as a member of the One Hundred and Fifty- 
second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, serving for one year from February, 1864. 
Upon being honorably discharged in September, 1865, he returned home, re- 
maining on the farm for one year, at the end of which time he began renting land 
for himself. In this capacity he continued for six or seven years, acquiring a 



140 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

small capital with which he purchased eighty acres of land in Madison county, 
Iowa, and here he lived for seventeen years. In 1888 he returned to Macon 
county and purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres where he has 
since resided and engaged in agriculture and stock-raising with a fine degree of 
success. 

In 1868 Mr. Trimmer was united in marriage to Miss Dianatha T. Henry, a 
daughter of Samuel and Catherine (Walters) Henry, natives of Pennsylvania, 
who emigrated to Iowa and were there identified with farming interests. Eight 
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Henry: Lucinda, who became Mrs. H. 
Davis, of Iowa, and is now deceased; Emanuel H., deceased; Mary J., who be- 
came the wife of G. Wheeler and is now deceased; Isaiah H, deceased; Wes- 
ley H, of Iowa; Cyrus, also of Iowa; Diantha T., herein mentioned; Jacob, de- 
ceased. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Trimmer seven children have been born: Minnie, 
now Mrs. Peter Keister, of Macon county, who has two children, Mabel and 
Florence; Francis, deceased; Roe, of Macon county; Clara, now Mrs. Drake, of 
Iowa; who has two children, Helen and Clyde; and Ora, Florence and Pearl, 
all living at home. 

Mr. Trimmer is socially identified with Decatur Post, No. 141, Grand Army 
of the Republic, at whose meetings the veterans of the Civil war renew the friend- 
ships of more than forty years standing and once more participate, in imagina- 
tions, in the trials and triumphs that resulted finally in the permanent establish- 
ment of this great republic. Mr. Trimmer is a stanch republican in his politi- 
cal views, but in local affairs often votes for the man rather than the party. He 
has not sought public office but he has acceptably served as a member of the 
school board and in discharging his various duties he applies the lessons which 
he learned in the school of experience, beginning in the dark days of the Re- 
bellion and continuing through brighter days to the present time. He is a wide- 
awake, enterprising and energetic citizen and is greatly esteemed by the many 
who know of his good qualities. He was fortunate in the selection of a help- 
mate and in his wife he has found an unfailing source of comfort and support, 
their home being the abode of happiness and the center of kindly greetings for 
friends and acquaintances of this region. 



ROY O. WEAVER. 



Roy O. Weaver, well known as a farmer of Macon county and living at 
the old homestead in Hickory Point township, was born August 23, 1882. Mr. 
Weaver represents the third generation of the family in this county, the older 
members having arrived in Illinois at an early day, when there were few settlers 
and when the country was largely open to preemption. Land which then was 
held by the government at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre has advanced 
until it commands one hundred and twenty-five to two hundred and fifty dollars 
per acre, and the entire appearance of the country has been transformed. This 
great change has been wrought by the active hand of man and, judging by the 
past, the march of improvement will continue indefinitely. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 141 

The father of our subject, Charles Weaver, was a native of Pennsylvania 
and came to Illinois with his parents, Samuel and Sarah Weaver, when he wa9 
four years of age. The family settled in Macon county and Charles Weaver 
worked upon the farm and after the death of his father inherited the home- 
stead, the other children of the family being: Catherine, now the widow of 
Jacob Lehman and living at Forsyth, this state; Nancy, now Mrs. Keister, of 
Decatur ; Susan, now Mrs. Crossman, of Harristown, Illinois ; and Alfred, of 
Decatur. The mother of our subject was before her marriage Sarah Shively, 
a native of Pennsylvania, and three children were born to the union of Mr. and 
Mrs. Weaver; Arthur, who married Minnie Spera, now living in Kansas; Roy 
O., and Pearl, now Mrs. Hockaday. 

Roy O. Weaver was born on the farm where he now lives and educated in 
the district schools. Upon laying aside his books, having determined to devote 
his life to farming pursuits, he worked on the farm with his father, continuing 
under the latter until the parents retired to Decatur in 1906, since which time 
the subject of this review has had entire charge of the farm, which consists of 
two hundred acres and is one of the highly productive and well managed farms 
of this region. 

On September 15, 1903, Mr. Weaver was happily united in marriage to Miss 
Grace Hockaday, a daughter of James and Martha (Walker) Hockaday, na- 
tives of Ross county, Ohio. The parents came to Illinois in 1856 and settled 
in Decatur, where they are still living. There were nine children in their family, 
seven of whom are now living : Frank, Mrs. Ida Huddleston, Mrs. Anna Wicoff, 
James L., Mrs. Letitia Littleton, Guy, and Grace, herein mentioned. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Weaver five children have been born : Danville Eldon, born April 20, 
1904; Dorothy Evelyn, born September 26, 1905; Ina Marie, born February 
19, 1907; Martha Virginia, born June 21, 1908; and Alma, born September 9, 
1909. 

Mr. Weaver takes the interest of a patriotic citizen in local, state and national 
affairs and usually casts his ballot with the democratic party. He was fortunate 
in the selection of a wife and by her womanly qualities she has made his home a 
pleasing abode, the center not only of a happy family circle but a gathering place 
for friends and acquaintances of the family, where they may always be assured 
of an earnest and sincere greeting. In his business as a farmer Mr. Weaver 
has attained the success which is ever the reward of honest and well directed effort. 



ALONZO DISBROW. 



Among the soldiers who associated nobly in putting down the rebellion and 
then resumed the occupations of the farm, in which they have attained deserved 
success, may be named Alonzo Disbrow, of Hickory Point township, Macon 
county. He was born in the state of New York, January 7, 1843, and is a son 
of Orin D. and Abigail (Smith) Disbrow, both of whom were natives of New 
York. The father was a mason by trade and desiring to improve his condi- 
tion came to Illinois in 1853, settling in McHenry county, where he remained 



142 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

for a few years, when he removed to Moberly, Missouri, where in 1858 he died 
suddenly while at work. The mother of our subject was called from earthly 
scenes in 1885. There were seven children in the family: Lewis, deceased; 
Charles, a resident of St. Joseph, Missouri; Robert E., deceased; Thomas J., of 
Independence, Iowa; Alonzo, our subject; James E., deceased; and Delia, who 
died at twelve years of age. 

Alonzo Disbrow passed the first ten years of his life in the state of his birth 
and then came with his parents to Illinois, receiving his education in the public 
schools of New York and Illinois. When the shadows of the Civil war gathered 
over the land he was eighteen years of age and in the fall of 1861, feeling that 
it was his duty to assist in the preservation of the Union, he enlisted in the 
Eighth Illinois Cavalry for a period of three years. The regiment was sent to 
the Army of the East and participated in some of the memorable campaigns of 
the war. Private Disbrow did valiant service in a number of the leading battles. 
He was present during the great Peninsular campaign and on the firing line at 
Antietam. At the time of Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania he was on detail duty 
at the city of Washington and his regiment was among the first to arrive on the 
memorable battlefield at Gettysburg. His experience in the war was a thrilling 
introduction to the great battle of life in which he has since been engaged and 
in which he has borne a valiant part. Nor was he the only member of his father's 
family who assisted in upbuilding the stars and stripes. It is a remarkable fact 
that six sons of this family wore the uniform of the blue and one, Lewis, gave 
up his life for his country. 

After receiving an honorable discharge from military service our subject in 
September, 1864, returned to Macon county and took up his home on the land 
where his mother and oldest brother had settled in 1861. He assumed charge 
of the farm, which he paid for at fifteen dollars an acre, the land being pur- 
chased from the Illinois Central Railroad Company. Later he bought ninety- 
five acres adjoining and is now the owner of a fine farm, which is provided with 
a goodly number of improvements and embraces one hundred and thirty-five 
acres. He also owns a farm of four hundred and eighty acres in the province 
of Manitoba, Canada, and a tract of eighty acres of farming land in Nebraska, 
and in his agricultural operations has shown good judgment which reflects high 
credit upon his early education. 

In 1875 Mr. Disbrow was united in marriage to Miss Ellen Wentworth, a 
daughter of Benning and Catherine Wentworth, natives of Ross county, Ohio, 
who emigrated to this state and settled in Macon county. They were the parents 
of six children, all daughters: Mary, who has been three times married and is 
now a widow; Esther; Ellen; Laura, who became Mrs. Bear and is now de- 
ceased; Jane, now Mrs. Z. Baughn; and Bartlett, now Mrs. L. Bean, of Kansas. 
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Disbrow three children have been born: Lewis, at home; 
Catherine, now Mrs. S. A. Clatterbock, of Sioux City, Iowa, and Benning, at 
home. 

Mr. Disbrow is a firm believer in holy writ and has for a number of years 
held membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. Politically he is identified 
with the republican party and is an earnest advocate of its principles. As a 
soldier he belongs to the Grand Army Post No. 41, of Decatur. Here he learned 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 143 

the great lesson of self-independence and in war he gained experience by con- 
tact with men which is often of much more value than great book learning. 
He is a man of good address, well informed and tried courage, and has arrived 
at an age where he can at ease enjoy the results of many years of labor. It is 
scarcely necessary to add that the subject of this review stands high in the 
opinion of his fellowmen. 



CHARLES HAYS. 



Charles Hays, a popular farmer of Hickory Point township and a worthy 
descendant of a well known family of Macon county, was born September 27, 
1859. His father, John R. Hays, was born in Indiana, in 1830, and came with 
his parents to Illinois when he was four years of age, the family locating near 
Monticello and later removing to this county. He was a son of John and Re- 
becca (Hadley) Hays, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New 
York state. In this county the father of our subject grew up and was educated 
in the district schools, after leaving which he devoted his attention to farming. 
He received some land from his father and became quite a successful farmer. 
At the time of his death, in 1900, he was the owner of about six hundred acres 
of land. He was an industrious and intelligent man, who performed his part in 
advancing the welfare of this region and making it a desirable location for the 
best class of people. He had the confidence of his neighbors and served for one 
term as supervisor of his township. He married Rachel Montgomery, a native 
of Clark county, Ohio, who was born April 9, 1837, and was a daughter of Will- 
iam and Amelia (Suver) Montgomery. She came to Illinois with her parents 
and was here married. She survived her husband for ten years and was called 
away January 3, 1910, in the seventy-third year of her age. Mrs. Hays was a 
woman of fine character and one who contributed in an important degree toward 
the prosperity and happiness of her family. She was the mother of five chil- 
dren: Charles, our subject; William J. and Frank, both residents of Decatur; 
Cynthia, who died at nine years of age ; and one child who died in infancy. 

Charles Hays was educated in the public schools of this county and grew up 
as a farmer boy, becoming well acquainted with the various duties of the farm 
and under his father evincing an interest and proficiency in his work which was 
a prophecy of a successful career as an agriculturist and stock raiser. About the 
time of the death of his father he assumed charge of his present farm, which 
was part of the old home place. Here he has since lived and is now the owner 
of three hundred and sixty acres of well improved land in this county, being 
one of its substantial and prosperous farmers. 

In 1889 Mr. Hays was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Landis, a 
daughter of Henry and Amanda (Reeser) Landis, both natives of Pennsyl- 
vania, who came to Illinois about 1866. Here Mr. Landis carried on farming, 
becoming independent financially, and he and his wife are now living retired in 
Decatur. They have four children : Elizabeth, now Mrs. Hays ; James, of De- 
catur; William, of San Diego, California; and Etta L., now Mrs. Cooper, living 
near Harristown, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Hays four children have been born : 



144 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Edwin, born in 1891, at home; Robert, born in 1893; and Ora and Oma, twins, 
born in 1895. 

Mr. Hays affiliates with the democratic party and, although he has not been 
an office seeker, preferring rather to devote his principal interest to his own 
private affairs, he has served with commendation as assessor of his township. 
He has always taken a lively interest in the development of Macon county, as 
here he was born and all his life has been identified with its growth. He is 
widely acquainted with the people of this region and it is greatly to his credit 
that his best friends are found among those who have known him from his 
boyhood. No one begrudges him and his wife the comforts with which they 
are supplied, as these comforts are the result of well spent time and labor. 



MATTHEW M. HARRISON. 

Matthew M. Harrison is one of the prosperous farmers of Macon county, 
who takes great pride in his farm and, therefore, has attained deserved success. 
He was born in Ross county, Ohio, November 17, 1856, and is a son of Matthew 
Harrison, who was also a native of the Buckeye state, born in 181 5. He fol- 
lowed farming all his life and died in 1859, when our subject was three years of 
age. The mother before her marriage was Lydia A. Plummer, a native of 
Ohio, who was born in 1818 and after the death of her first husband married 
Mitchell Liedam, the family coming to Illinois in 1868 and settling in Macon 
county. The mother was a woman of many noble qualities. She departed this 
life in 1898. By her first marriage she became the mother of fourteen children, 
six of whom are now living: Mrs. Fanny Cassel, a resident of Macon county; 
Mrs. Sarah Wilt, also of this county; Mrs. Mary Lintner, of Joplin, Missouri; 
Joseph, of Indian Territory; Matthew M. ; and Eliza, now Mrs. Mount, of 
Decatur. 

The subject of this review was educated in the public schools of his native 
state and grew up upon the farm, coming to Illinois at twelve years of age. 
He was early taught habits of industry and, being ambitious to advance in the 
world, he began working out while still a boy and after gaining a fair degree 
of experience in the various duties of the farm he rented land and engaged in 
agricultural pursuits on his own account. As years progressed he became pros- 
perous and four years ago he acquired a well located farm of one hundred 
and sixty acres in Hickory Point township, where he now lives. 

In 1884 Mr. Harrison was united in marriage to Maggie L. Renshaw, a 
daughter of John and Lydia A. (Steel) Renshaw, who were natives of Co- 
lumbus, Ohio, and came to Illinois, where they became identified with the 
agricultural interests. They were the parents of four children : Carrie, now 
Mrs. Green, of Bloomington, Illinois; Maggie L. ; Cora, now Mrs. Keller, of 
Los Angeles, California; and May, now Mrs. Reddick, of Decatur. Ten chil- 
dren have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Harrison : Guy R., born in 1885, 
now living at home; Gertrude A., born in 1887; Benjamin, in 1888; John, in 
1890; Fanny B., who was born in 1892 and died in infancy; Carrie, born in 
1894; Mattie, in 1896; Joseph, in 1899; Margaret in 1901 and Alice, in 1903. 




MR. AND MRS. M. M. HARRISON 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 147 

Mr. Harrison is a stanch supporter of the republican party and is socially 
identified with Lodge No. 312, A. F. & A. M.; Lodge No. 17, K. P.; and Lodge 
No. 144, M. W. A., all being located at Decatur. In the various relations of life 
Mr. Harrison has attempted to perform his duty and as a result he has made 
many friends, who were attracted by his manly qualities of perseverance, in- 
dustry and square dealing Mrs. Harrison, who is an intelligent and estimable 
lady, has been a constant support to her husband and as the mother of a large 
family she has inculcated by her example those principles of unselfishness and 
willingness to aid others which are so important in the promotion of happiness 
and goodwill. 



JOHN H. PARK. 



John H. Park, who is known as a useful and praiseworthy citizen of Macon 
county, is a native son of Illinois and was born in Morgan county, May 26, 1847. 
He is a son of John J. Park, who was born in Kentucky, November 18, 181 3, 
and came to Illinois with his parents, Thomas and Jane (Fox) Park. The 
family settled in Morgan county upon one hundred and five acres of land and 
there the older members passed to their reward. John J. Park, the father of our 
subject, sold out his interest in Morgan county and bought land in Sangamon 
county, beginning with one hundred and twenty acres, to which he added eighty 
acres and became the owner of a well improved farm of two hundred acres. 
In 1865 he moved to Decatur, this county, and sold his farm and acquired a 
farm of eighty acres in Macon county, upon which he lived for three years, at 
the end of which time he retired to Decatur. He was the owner of the Park Place 
addition to Decatur, having himself laid out this addition. He was a useful 
citizen, who contributed according to his ability and opportunity in upbuilding 
any enterprise with which he was connected. He affiliated with the republican 
party but never aspired to official preferment. He departed this life in 1894, 
at the age of eighty-one years. The mother of our subject before her marriage 
was Eliza Jane Caldwell, who was born in Kentucky, August 19, 1820, and 
came to this state with her parents, who settled in Morgan county. She was 
called away April 15, 1901. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Park: 
Nancy J., who was twice married ; John C, deceased ; Sarah, now Mrs. Judson ; 
David T. ; Robert, who died in infancy; John H., the subject of this review; 
Mary C, now Mrs. McGinnis; James M. ; Margaret; Samuel; and William M. 

John H. Park was born in Morgan county and educated in the district 
schools. He was early inducted into all the operations of the farm, continuing 
with his father until 1871, when he began for himself by renting land in this 
county, south of the location which he chose in March, 1898, as his home. Here 
he bought a tract of eighty acres, which he has greatly improved. At one time 
he devoted considerable attention to raising draft horses, but during recent years 
has confined his operations to general farming with the favorable results that are 
usually attained by the application of well directed energy. 



148 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

On March 14, 1880, Mr. Park was happily united in marriage to Miss Dora 
M. Rowe, who was born November 2, 1855, and is a daughter of John and Eliza- 
beth Rowe. The parents were natives of Ohio and the father died in that state, 
but Mrs. Rowe came to Illinois about 1877 with her children and located at 
Decatur, where she died in 1892. Four children of Mr. and Mrs. Rowe are 
now living, J. Wesley, Willard, Mrs. Fox and Mrs. Anna Snyder. The beloved 
wife of our subject was summoned from earthly scenes October 28, 1896. She 
was the mother of four children: Jesse, who was born January 12, 1881, and 
died January n, 1901 ; Nellie, who was born May 16, 1884, and died May 8, 
1902; and Clara, born in 1886, and Anna, in 1888, both living at home. 

Although Mr. Park has been called upon to suffer great affliction in the death 
of members of his family, he has bravely borne up and sturdily continued in 
his appointed tasks. Like his father, he is a supporter of the republican party. 
He has acted as road commissioner, discharging his duties in such a way as to 
receive the general commendation of the people of the community. He is an in- 
dustrious and intelligent citizen and in his work as a farmer has attained deserved 
success. 



NATHAN E. STICKEL. 



Nathan E. Stickel is the owner of a farm of two hundred acres in sections 
3 and 10, south Wheatland township, Macon county, which is recognized as one 
of the most productive farms in the region. He is well known as an active 
and progressive citizen, whose aim it is to keep abreast of the times and to as- 
sist to the extent of his ability in the upbuilding of the community. 

He is a native of Macon county and was born April 1, 1869, a son of David 
H. and Lydia (Spangler) Stickel. David H. Stickel was born in Lewisberry, 
York county, Pennsylvania, February 8, 1835. He was a farmer and came to 
Illinois in 1857, locating in Macon county with his brother Wesley Stickel. A 
few years later his parents came to this state where they made their permanent 
home. At the outbreak of the Civil war Mr. Stickel enlisted in Company 1, 
Fifty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and participated with his regiment in 
some of the important battles of the war, including the battle of Huntsville, Ala- 
bama, Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee, and also took part in numerous 
smaller engagements. On account of loss of health he was honorably discharged 
from service at the end of one year and returned to this state where he recovered 
his health and in 1868 went to Pennsylvania and was married. He later re- 
sumed general farming and live-stock raising in Illinois, departing this life in 
Macon county, July 23, 1909, after a long and useful career. In politics he was 
a strong republican. He was also an active member of the Methodist church, 
being trustee and steward at Elwin for a number of years and assisting very 
materially in building up the organization. Mrs. Stickel is a native of Mount 
Royal, York county, Pennsylvania, where she was born in 1842, and she is now 
making her home with the subject of this review. Three children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Stickel: Nathan E., our subject; Mary B., now Mrs. N. M. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 149 

Jacobs, of Decatur, Macon county; and Charles, born December 17, 1881, who 
married Alma E. Huddelson, of Blue Mound, and died December 8, 1909, the 
wife departing this life October 25, 1909. 

Nathan E. Stickel was educated in the public schools of Illinois and also 
attended high school for three months, at the end of which time he began de- 
voting his attention to the farm. For three years before his marriage he rented 
a farm owned by his father, on which he new lives, and then purchased eighty 
acres in section 3 of the same township, making his present farm of two hun- 
dred acres. In 1896 the father built a beautiful residence, modern in all respects, 
which is now occupied by the family and is one of the most attractive homes in 
the township. 

In 1897 Mr. Stickel was happily united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Hill, 
a daughter of Joseph and Rose Mary (Stallings) Hill, who has proven to her 
husband a truly loyal and helpful companion. Their home has been blessed by 
the arrival of two children : Lloyd E., and Nathan C, now deceased. Mr. Stickel 
is a member of South Macon Lodge, No. 467, A. F. & A. M., and of Coeur de 
Leon Lodge, No. 17, Knights of Pythias, of Decatur. Politically he is identified 
with the republican party and he has occupied several public offices, serving as 
supervisor of the township, as collector for two terms, and is now a member of 
the school board. These duties he has discharged with great fidelity, receiving 
the hearty approval of the entire neighborhood. He and his wife are members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church of Elwin, in which Mr. Stickel has served 
as trustee for ten years and also as steward. Mrs. Stickel is a member of the 
Ladies Aid Society and is actively interested in Sunday school work, she and 
her husband being interested workers in all causes that aim to promote the 
interests of the region. 



WILLIAM T. HOWELL. 

William T. Howell, a representative and enterprising farmer of Oakley 
township, has a good home on section 31 and his time and energies are success- 
fully devoted to the raising of grain and stock. He now owns and cultivates 
nearly four hundred acres of land, constituting one of the well improved and 
valuable farms of Macon county. Moreover he is one of the venerable citizens 
here, having passed the eighty-first milestone on life's journey. His birth 
occurred in Sangamon county, Illinois, November 2, 1829. 

His parents were James and Jane (Alsberry) Howell, both of whom were 
natives of Ohio. The father was born in Gallia county and about 1827 removed 
westward to Illinois, settling first in Sangamon county, while five years later he 
removed to Macon county, becoming one of the pioneer settlers of this part 
of the state. In fact the entire district was almost an unbroken wilderness and 
the year of his removal was that in which the Black Hawk war occurred. He 
entered land from the government, for the greater part of the broad prairies of 
Macon county were then under government control. Subsequently he bought 
land from time to time until he became the owner of over two hundred acres, 



150 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

which he transformed into a productive farm, upon which he reared his family 
and spent his remaining days, his death occurring in 1871. He was laid to rest 
on the old home place and was survived by his wife for a number of years 
but at length she, too, passed to the home beyond. 

W. T. Howell was reared to manhood in Macon county, spending his youthful 
days in Oakley township. He remained with his father until after he had passed 
the age of twenty-two years and assisted him in carrying on the farm. He was 
afterward employed as a farm hand by the month for three years and in this 
way got his start in life. He early learned the fact that diligence and industry 
constitute the basis of success and as the years passed on he won a very desirable 
measure of prosperity by reason of his close application and unfaltering 
perseverance. 

As a companion and helpmate for life's journey Mr. Howell chose Miss 
Sarah Jane Trotter, whom he wedded on the 8th of March, 1853. Mrs Howell 
was born in Ohio and was brought to Illinois by her mother when a little maiden 
of six years. Previous to his marriage Mr. Howell had purchased eighty acres 
of land and had broken a part of this. He built a small house upon the place 
and after his marriage took up his abode there. With characteristic energy he 
began the further improvement and development of the property and from 
time to time has extended tthe boundaries of his farm until he now owns over 
two hundred acres of rich and valuable land, which responds readily to the care 
and labor that he bestows upon it. He erected a good two-story brick residence 
in modern style of architecture and it is one of the attractive homes of this part 
of the country. There is a large barn upon the place which he built, together 
with sheds and cribs and all of the accessories and improvements of a model 
farm of the twentieth century. He uses the best improved machinery to facilitate 
the work of the fields and everything about the place indicates his progressive 
spirit. What he has accomplished also indicates that he has made wise use of 
his time and opportunities, for he has been dependent upon his own resources 
from almost the time he attained his majority. 

On Easter Sunday in 1910 sorrow came to the home of Mr. Howell, for on 
that day his wife passed away. She was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, December 27, 
1833, and was therefore 'in the seventy-seventh year of her age at the time of 
her death. In her demise the family lost a loving and devoted wife and mother 
and her friends one who was ever faithful to their best interests. Unto Mr. 
and Mrs. Howell had been born a son and three danghters: John W., now a 
resident of California; Laura, the wife of James Hoots of Decatur, by whom 
she has one daughter, Anna, now a young lady ; Henrietta, who, is acting as her 
father's housekeeper; and Fannie, the wife of George T. Hackler, living near 
Superior, Nebraska. 

In his political views Mr. Howell is a stalwart democrat yet not so strongly 
partisan that he will not cast an independent ballot at local elections if he thinks 
the best interests of the community will be conserved thereby. The only offices 
that he has ever held have been those of highway commissioner and school 
director, for he has always preferred to give his attention to his business affairs 
and to leave office holding to those more desirous of securing the honors and 
emoluments of political preferment. His entire life has been passed in Illinois 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 151 

and he has lived in Macon county since it was largely an undeveloped wilderness. 
His memory goes back to the time when there were no railroads through Decatur 
and in fact he has witnessed the growth of that city from little more than a 
crossroads village. He has seen the crude farm machinery of the early day re- 
placed by the modern reaper, mower and harvester and can remember that time 
when it was no unusual thing to see candles used in lighting the homes of the 
early settlers. The fireplace, too, was a feature in every household, for in the 
days of his youth the modern cooking stove was unknown. The wives and 
daughters spun and wove cloth, while the father and sons worked in the fields. 
Many changes have occurred since those early days and progress has wrought 
a marvelous transformation. Mr. Howell has rejoiced in all that has been 
accomplished for the benefit of mankind and the upbuilding of the community 
and is today one of the honored and venerable citizens of Macon county, respected 
by all with whom he has been brought in contact. 



C. F. SCHENCK. 



C. F. Schenck, successfully engaged in the manufacture of cigars in Maroa, 
was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, on the 8th of February, 1862. His 
parents were Aaron and Rebecca (Barkalow) Schenck, who spent their entire 
lives in Ohio save for the period of their later days, when they resided with a 
daughter in Maroa. Their family numbered ten children of whom eight reached 
years of maturity. 

C. F. Schenck pursued his education in the common schools of his native 
state and was reared upon the home farm in Ohio, giving his time and energies 
to the work of tilling the fields until twenty years of age, when he came to 
Maroa. During the succeeding two years he worked at the painter's trade and 
then went to Decatur where he remained for a year and a half, clerking in the 
store of R. Liddle. Returning to Maroa in 1885 he was engaged in the cigar 
manufacturing business, starting on a small scale. From 1887 until 1891 he had 
a partner, W. F. McClung, and the business was conducted under the firm name 
of Schenck & McClung. Since that time Mr. Schenck has been alone and the 
business has enjoyed continuous, substantial and rapid growth which is indicated 
by the fact that he now employs twenty-six people in the manufacture of 
cigars. This is by far the largest cigar factory in Macon county, the output 
being about a million and a half cigars annually. After starting in this business 
he went upon the road as a traveling salesman, representing his own house, and 
so continued until his sales reached a million a year. He also acted as book- 
keeper and managed the business, which under his careful guidance and by 
reason of his progressive methods has developed into one of the extensive and 
profitable enterprises of the county. In addition to his industrial interests he is 
the owner of valuable farm land in both Idaho and Texas. His plantation in 
the latter state is situated near Houston, where he is engaged in the raising of 
rice. His farm in Idaho is situated in the Twin Falls district and is devoted to 
the raising of small grain. Both of these properties he manages from his office 



152 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

in Maroa although he frequently makes trips to both the south and the north- 
west. 

In 1886 Mr. Schenck was married to Miss Lilly A. Stoutenborough, a native 
of Macon county and a daughter of William H. Stoutenborough, of Maroa. 
Both he and his wife are devoted members of the Presbyterian church. He is 
now treasurer of the building committee of the new Presbyterian church, which 
is being erected at a cost of twenty-five thousand dollars and a new parsonage. 
The entire property will be worth about forty thousand dollars when completed. 
Mr. Schenck belongs also to the Knights of Pythias lodge and the Modern 
Woodmen camp, and in both of these has served as an officer. He is a man of 
unfaltering purpose and of laudable ambition and in his business affairs has 
displayed marked aptitude for successful management, together with a prompt 
and ready recognition and utilization of opportunities. 



RICHARD J. ROBERTS. 

Richard J. Roberts, whose death on the 16th of October, 1910, removed one 
of the old settlers of Decatur, his residence here covering a period of over 
fifty-three years, was born March 14, 1833, in Emmetsburg, Pennsylvania. His 
parents were John and Mary (Hughes) Roberts, the former also a native of the 
Keystone state and the latter of Wales. Spending his boyhood days in his 
father's home, Richard J. Roberts was trained to habits of industry and upon 
his mind were impressed lessons concerning the value of integrity, perseverance 
and upright character. He attended the district schools, the sessions of which 
were held in a log schoolhouse and when not busy with his text-books his 
time was largely occupied with the work of the home farm. In 1852, when 
nineteen years of age, he started westward, making his way to Cleveland, Ohio. 
He had previously learned the carpenter's trade, at which he was employed in 
Cleveland. In the fall of that year he came to Illinois, traveling over the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad to Peru and thence made his way by 
boat to Peoria, where he also worked at the carpenter's trade. Subsequently he 
went to Chicago and on the 31st of January, 1856, in Springfield, Ohio, he was 
united in marriage to Miss Mary Jane Steele. They then located in that city, 
where they lived for a year and on the 1st of April, 1857, they came to Decatur, 
where Mr. Roberts sought employment at carpentering. He became a contracting 
carpenter and was engaged in that business until after the outbreak of the Civil 
war. 

On the 9th of August, 1863, in this city, Mr. Roberts enlisted for active 
service in defense of the Union, joining the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois 
Infantry under command of Captain Hayes and Colonel John Moore. Early 
in the war he sustained injuries from which he never recovered and after six 
months' service he was honorably discharged. Following his return to Decatur 
he took up the business of house moving. He was the first to enter that field 
and for a long period was the only house mover of the city. He continued the 
business for forty years and became well known in that connection. In the spring 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 153 

of 1904 he was appointed overseer of the poor and continued in that position until 
his death, which however, followed a long illness. In this position he was both 
capable and kind and did much not only to aid those immediately under his 
supervision but also to relieve the suffering of the deserving poor in other parts 
of the county. He was ever a man of kindly and benevolent spirit and had great 
sympathy for the unfortunate. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Roberts there were born four children: Ida, who died 
in early life; Eddie, who was accidently killed; Annie who became the wife of 
F. Imboden, and died leaving a daughter, Erma Frances; and Mabel W., who 
is the only surviving member of the family. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts traveled 
life's journey together for more than fifty-four years, celebrating their golden 
wedding in 1906. It was a notable occasion never to be forgotten by those who 
participated therein. 

Mr. Roberts was a member of Macon Lodge, No. 8, A. F. & A. M. and 
Macon Chapter, No. 28, R. A. M., belonging to the fraternity for forty-seven 
years, during which period he exemplified in his life its beneficent principles. 
He also belonged to Dunham Post, No. 141, G. A. R. His political allegiance 
was given to the republican party but he never sought or desired office, save 
that which he was filling at the time of his death and which came to him by 
appointment of the board of supervisors. He long held membership in the 
Methodist Episcopal church and his life was indeed an honorable and unright 
one, which, although quietly passed, was fruitful of much good by reason of his 
devotion to his family and his friends and the helpful spirit which he manifested 
toward all with whom he came in contact. 



FRANK L. HAYS. 



Frank L. Hays, secretary of the Decatur Club, was born in Delaware, Ohio, on 
the 23d of August, 1836, a son of Thomas and Abby (Johns) Hays. In the 
acquirement of an education he attended the public schools to the age of sixteen 
years and afterward devoted two years to pursuing the classical course in the 
Ohio Wesleyan University. He entered business circles at Delaware, Ohio, in 
connection with the dry goods trade but in 1855 sought the opportunities of 
the new and growing city of Decatur, where he arrived in July of that year. 
Here he began clerking for the firm of Stamper & Elliott, remaining with that 
house until October, 1857, when he utilized the capital which he had saved from 
his earnings in the establishment of a business of his own under the firm name 
of F. L. Hays & Company. They began with a capital of three thousand dollars. 
The business was continued under the original partnership relation until 1872, 
when the firm became Hays & Bruce and so continued until 1876. In 1865 
Mr. Hays erected a business block on Water street and the trade was therein 
conducted. In 1876 E. D. Bartholomew became the junior partner and the firm 
style was changed to Hays & Bartholomew, but the latter sold his interest in 
1879 to Thomas Hays and the old firm style of F. L. Hays & Company was 
resumed. In this way the business was carried on continuously and successfully 
until 1888, when they sold out and F. L. Hays retired to private life. 



154 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

His history contains an interesting military chapter, for in August, 1862, he 
was instrumental in raising a company for service in the Civil war which became 
Company F of the One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He 
was commissioned its captain and in October, 1862, the troops marched against 
the Confederate general, Bragg, in Kentucky. In January, 1863, the regiment 
was sent to Tennessee and became a part of the reserve corps of the Army of 
the Cumberland. With his command Captain Hays participated in the battles 
of Chickamauga and Resaca, Georgia, and in June, 1864, was promoted to the 
rank of major and was made additional paymaster, so continuing until February, 
1865, when shortly before the close of the war he resigned. While acting as 
paymaster he was stationed at Louisville, Kentucky, Springfield, Illinois, and 
Indianapolis, Indiana. 

When the war was over Major Hays returned to his home and family. In 
September, 1861, he had married Miss Hattie White and unto them were born 
three sons and a daughter : Harry, now living in Minneapolis, Minnesota ; Robert, 
a resident of Los Angeles, California; Frank L., of Chicago; and Madge, the 
wife of Dr. George C. Stemen, of Denver, Colorado. 

In his political views Major Hays is a republican, voting for the candidates 
of the party since casting his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 
i860. He has served as city clerk of Decatur and was a member of the board 
of review in 1906. In 1892 he was elected commander of the Grand Army post 
of Decatur, of which he had previously served as quartermaster for fourteen 
years. He is now resident secretary of the Decatur Club, in which connection he 
has charge of the house books and dues and also has general supervision over 
the club. His residence in the city covers a period of fifty-five years, in which 
he has witnessed much of the substantial growth and progress of Decatur, 
bearing his full part in the work of general development and improvement. 



KILBURN H. ROBY. 



It is a pleasure to meet a man who by a long life of usefulness and in- 
tegrity has gained the universal esteem of the community, and is enjoying the 
friendship and the honors which are the result of his own unselfish character. 
Such men are justly entitled to the respect in which they are held. Kilburn H. 
Roby, one of the oldest members of the Macon county bar, belongs to this 
class of men. 

He was born at Mount Vernon, Hillsboro county, New Hampshire, Sep- 
tember 2, 1837, and is a son of Clinton and Lois (Harwood) Roby. On both 
sides of the house our subject is descended from English ancestry, the early 
American representatives of the family arriving in Massachusetts during the 
colonial period. Soon after the Revolutionary war the great-grandfather, John 
Roby, moved from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, to Hillsboro county, New Hamp- 
shire, into what was then a wild frontier country. Members of the family have 
lived in that part of New Hampshire ever since, and from that region they 
have gone forth to various states of the Union. John Roby, the grandfather 
of our subject, was born in New Hampshire and lived to the age of eighty 




A^^f^y; 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 157 

years. He was a man of peculiar traits, one of his characteristics being a re- 
markable memory, as he could repeat a great portion of the Bible. The father 
of our subject was born in New Hampshire in 1808, and was married to Lois 
Harwood in 1834. She was a native of Hillsboro county, born in 181 1, whose 
ancestors removed from Massachusetts into New Hampshire at a very early 
day. 

Kilburn H. Roby was the younger of two children, and the farm upon which 
he was born was his home until he reached the age of twenty years. He received 
his early education at Appleton Academy, Mount Vernon, New Hampshire, 
and at Northfield Seminary, now Tilton Seminary, an institution under charge 
of the Methodist church, which has for many years been in operation in New 
Hampshire. The schools named above were very thorough in those early days 
and gave their pupils a fine start in mental training, which to many of them 
has proved of untold value in after life. 

In the spring of 1858, being then twenty-one years of age and desirous of 
making a place for himself in the world, Mr. Roby came to Illinois, spending 
the first summer at Quincy. In the fall he secured a position as teacher in 
the public schools of Marion county and there continued for two years. How- 
ever, his mind was bent upon a professional career, and in 1859 he began the 
study of law under John P. Reynolds, for many years a member of the Cincin- 
nati bar and now living in Chicago. Later he continued his study in the office 
of Bryan & Schaeffer, at Salem, Illinois, and in September, i860, came to De- 
catur and entered the office of Tupper & Nelson. While still a law student, he 
enlisted in Company A, Forty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was sent 
with his regiment to St. Louis, Cairo and Paducah, being discharged at the lat- 
ter place after four months' service on account of illness. Returning to De- 
catur, he resumed the study of law and was admitted to the Illinois bar in the 
spring of 1862. Mr. Tupper, of the firm of Tupper & Nelson, entering the 
army, Mr. Roby became a partner of William E. Nelson and continued with 
him about fifteen years, when the association was terminated by the election 
of Mr. Nelson to the bench. Our subject continued the practice of law until 
1881 as senior member of the firm of Roby, Outten & Vail, one of the best 
known and most successful law firms of Decatur. As a lawyer Mr. Roby early 
gave indication of ability of a high order, and within a few years after he began 
practice he gained recognition as one of the able men at the bar. He has been 
identified with many of the most important cases in central Illinois, and be- 
fore court or jury no man has commanded a more respectful hearing. 

He has also been connected with various lines of business. In 1881 he be- 
came cashier of the Decatur National Bank and continued in that office for 
ten years, with the exception of the period from 1884 to 1885, when he was 
identified with the Haworth Manufacturing Company. In 1891 he was elected 
president of the bank of which he had been serving as cashier and filled the 
office of president with marked ability until 1904, when he retired on account 
of ill health. Since that time he has not been actively engaged in business af- 
fairs, but he continues as director and stockholder in the bank. 

On the 1st of December, 1863, Mr. Roby was united in marriage to Miss 
Annie Haworth, a native of Clinton county, Ohio, and a daughter of Mahlon 



158 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Haworth, whose biography appears on another page of this volume.. Seven 
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Roby, six of whom are now living. 
Frank C, born on the 21st of May, 1865, was married in Chicago, Sep- 
tember 1, 1893, to Miss Ida M. Gordon, and they have three children: Helen 
E., born in June, 1894; Kilburn in October, 1898; and Frank C. in November, 
1900. Mary Lois, born July 29, 1867, was married to Frederick A. Brown, 
of Decatur, in January, 1890, and to this union the following children were 
born: Marcus, who was born in Tacoma, Washington, and died there in 1893; 
Kilburn R., born in 1894 ; and Mary Lois, born in 1897. Mr. Brown, the father 
of these children, is now practicing law in Chicago. Edna A., the third child 
of Mr. and Mrs. Roby, was born March 14, 1869, and died in July, 1870. Kil- 
burn H., born in 1871, married Miss Clara G. Greene, of Decatur, in 1900, and 
three children have been born to them: Oliver G., who was born September, 
1903, and died in 1906; Thomas G., born in 1906; and Richard, March, 1908. 
The family live in Decatur. Luther E., born February 10, 1874, was married 
in Chicago to Isabelle Scott, in November, 1908, and one child has blessed this 
union, William Scott. The father is manager and treasurer of the Peoria Drill 
& Seeder Company. Sarah J., born January 14, 1876, was married May 21, 
1903, to Captain Charles E. Hay, Jr., of the United States army. One child, 
John Leonard, born June 9, 1905, has resulted from this union. Annie Ha- 
worth, born April 10, 1878, was married at Decatur October 1, 1904, to Donald 
Vincent, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and they have two daughters, Catherine, born 
December, 1907, and a baby, born October 30, 1910. 

Mr. Roby has been identified with the republican party since i860, his first 
vote having been cast for Abraham Lincoln as president of the United States. 
He has never sought political honors, but served for two years in the early 
part of his career as clerk and city attorney of Decatur. Possessing a logical 
mind and also a clear judgment in business affairs, he has been highly success- 
ful, both as a lawyer and as a man of business. His life has been an extremely 
active one, and his prosperity is the legitimate result of wisely directed effort. 
He has never been unmindful of his duties to the community, and his kindly 
interest in others has made for him a host of warm friends, who will ever 
regard him as a model citizen. 



ORAN ARMSTRONG COOK. 

Oran Armstrong Cook, who has been successfully engaged in business as a 
carpenter and contractor of Macon for more than three decades, was born in 
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, on the 18th of September, 1851, his parents 
being James A. and Charlotte Ann (Hogentogler) Cook. The maternal grand- 
parents, John and Mary Hogentogler, were natives of Pennsylvania and New 
York respectively. The paternal great-grandfather was a native of Germany 
and in the year 1777 three of his sons, one of whom was the grandfather of our 
subject, came to the United States in order to avoid military service. They 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 159 

settled in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and the grandfather of our subject 
was one of eight men who built the fifth rolling mill in the United States. 

James A. Cook, the father of Oran A. Cook, was the eldest child and only 
son in a family of six children and was but fourteen years of age when he 
became engineer in his father's rolling mill. Eventually he entered the service 
of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad, acting as passenger engineer for five 
years. In 1856 he came to Illinois and for several years ran an engine on the 
Wabash Railroad out of Decatur. Returning to Pennsylvania, he remained in 
that state for a year and then once more came to Illinois, locating at Macon in 
i860. Here he embarked in the carpentering and undertaking business, being 
the first undertaker in the town. He was continuously and successfully engaged 
in those lines of activity until called to his final rest in 1901 when in the seventy- 
fifth year of his age. At the time of the Mexican war he formed and was made 
captain of a company of infantry in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but hostilities 
had ceased when the little band of soldiers reached Pittsburg. In 1846 he wedded 
Miss Charlotte Ann Hogentogler, a young lady of Scotch and German decent 
and the eldest in a family of twelve children. In association with seven others 
she formed and organized the first Methodist church in Macon and its first 
congregation assembled in the house in which our subject now resides. She 
passed away in 1875, when in the forty-ninth year of her age. 

Oran A. Cook, who was the third in order of birth in a family of seven 
children, obtained his early education in the public schools of Illinois and subse- 
quently entered the Northwestern University of Indiana at Indianapolis, from 
which institution he was graduated in 1875. That was the time of the Centennial 
Exposition in Philadelphia and he went to the Quaker city in charge of the 
exhibit of the Chandler & Taylor Company of Indianapolis. During the re- 
mainder of the year he traveled for that concern, selling their machinery. 
Following his marriage in 1878 he took up carpentering and contracting and has 
since been engaged in contracting and building on an extensive and profitable 
scale, erecting elevators, etc. 

In August, 1878, Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Flora C. Aumock, 
whose birth occurred on the 31st of August, 1857, her parents being James and 
Caroline J. (Butt) Aumock, natives of Ohio. Mrs. Cook, who was the second 
in order of birth in a family of four children, has likewise become the mother of 
four children, namely: Fay, who was born April 30, 1881 and died on the 6th 
of August, 1883; Cecil Floyd, whose natal day was March 10, 1883, and who 
is still at home; Fleda Dee, born January 30, 1887, wno gave her hand in 
marriage to Harry Herbert, of Macon, and now resides in Decatur; and Harry 
Harold, who first opened his eyes to the light of day on the 8th of November, 
1888, and is still under the parental roof. 

Politically Mr. Cook is a stanch advocate and supporter of the prohibition 
party, believing that the liquor traffic is the worst evil with which our country 
has to contend. He has been a member of the Modern Woodmen of America for 
the past twenty-four years and has occupied all of the chairs except one. At 
the present time he is acting as clerk of Macon Camp, No. 362. He is also 
identified with the Royal Neighbors, belonging to Fernleaf Camp at Macon, of 
which he has been a manager since its installation six years ago. He is likewise 



160 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

a member of the Royal Templars of New York, the Good Templars and the 
degree lodge of Good Templars. His wife belongs to the Royal Neighbors and 
the Order of the Eastern Star. She is a devoted and consistent member of the 
Methodist church and Mr. Cook likewise attends its services. In his business 
career he has always faithfully executed the terms of a contract and met the 
obligations devolving upon him. He has thus established a reputation for un- 
doubted integrity and his name is an honored one wherever he is known. 



WILLIAM F. HURTT. 



Among the citizens of Macon county who are actively identified with farming 
interests is William F. Hurtt, of Hickory Point township, a general farmer who 
by his industry and progressive spirit has gained the respect of his neighbors 
and the confidence of many of the responsible men in the community. He is a 
native of Ohio, born in Ross county in 1856, and is the son of John W. and 
Elizabeth (Ross) Hurtt, both natives of Ohio, the former born in 1825 and the 
latter in 1827. The mother was member of one of the early pioneer families 
of Ohio and died in 1862. The father continued upon the old home farm during 
the remainder of his life and was called away in April, 1895. Six children were 
born to them : Nelson, Roderick and John W., deceased ; Evans, of Piqua, Ohio ; 
William F., our subject; Margaret, now Mrs. Milton Junk, of Greeley, Colorado. 
William F. Hurtt was educated in the public schools of Ross county and 
assisted his father upon the farm until 1872 when, at sixteen years of age, he 
came with his eldest brother to Piatt county, this state. He began farming upon 
his own account by renting eighty acres of land and later two hundred and 
forty acres, engaging in general farming in Piatt county until 1908, when he 
took up his residence in Macon county, where he rented a farm upon which he 
has since lived. By the application of sound principles he has been successful 
in his work and is the owner of a tract of one hundred and sixty acres of good 
land in Alberta, Canada. He also retains an interest in the old home place of 
one hundred and fifty-six acres in Ohio. 

In 1878 Mr. Hurtt was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Robinson, of 
this state, a daughter of John L. and Louise (Huff) Robinson, who came from 
Coshocton county, Ohio, to Illinois in 1864 and settled in Piatt county. The 
father departed this life August 24, 1909, and the mother was called away in 
1885. They were the parents of four children: William and Elmer, residing in 
Decatur; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Hurtt; and Beulah, deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Hurtt the following children have been born: Florence M., born in 1881, who 
married Charles Ball and died in July, 1905; Jennetta, who was born in 1884 
and died in 1889; William Linley, born in 1896, who is living at home; and 
John Erwin, born in 1899, also at home. 

Mr. Hurtt is politically in sympathy with the republican party, whose 
principles he accepts as those best adapted for the perpetuation of this govern- 
ment. Socially he is identfied with Lodge No. 344, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows; Lodge No. 2252, Modern Woodmen of America, and Lodge No. 652, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 161 

Court of Honor, all of Bement, Illinois. He is a consistent member of the 
Methodist church and takes an active part in its work, and by his wide sympathies 
and willing cooperation in all laudable undertakings for the benefit of others 
less fortunate than himself he has made many friends in the region with which 
he is closely identified. The country is in need of men like Mr. Hurtt and the 
happiness and permanent welfare of society depend in a large measure upon 
new accessions to their ranks and the cultivation of those principles of brother- 
hood that form the basis of all good government. 



ANDREW J. TRIMMER. 

Andrew J. Trimmer, a native of the Keystone state, who has for more than 
half a century made his home in Macon county, was born on the 27th of Sep- 
tember, 1839. He is a son of Joseph F. and Catherine (Fetrow) Trimmer, both 
of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, the former being born in 1814 and the 
latter in 1820. They were married in their native state and emigrated to Illinois 
in 1853, settling in Macon county. The father was a farmer and was the owner 
in Pennsylvania of two hundred acres of land, but after arriving in this state he 
rented land for eleven years, at the end of which time he bought the Mound 
farm, where he had been living, which consisted of one hundred and sixty acres. 
Later he acquired a farm lying one mile eastward of one hundred and sixty acres. 
He was one of the successful agriculturists of the county and a man who was 
highly respected for many good qualities. Politically he was an adherent of the 
republican party, believing that its principles were those most essential for the 
prosperity and perpetuity of our government. He departed this life in 1886 and 
twenty years later his faithful companion was called away. They were the par- 
ents of nine children: Andrew J., our subject; William, who died in 1864; 
Abram, now living in Ohio; Joseph, of Macon county; Mary, who married 
Isaiah Henry, her husband being deceased ; Daniel, of Indiana ; Henry, deceased ; 
John, of Decatur, and George, deceased. 

The subject of our review was fourteen years of age when he came to this 
state. He received his education in the district schools and after laying his 
books aside assisted his father for six years upon the farm. At twenty-one 
years of age he began renting land for himself and so continued in this county 
for twenty-four years, at the end of which time his wife inherited the farm of 
one hundred and twenty acres, six acres of which are occupied by the railroad, 
and here the family has since made its home and the farm has been brought 
to a high degree of cultivation under the experienced management of our subject. 

In 1862 Mr. Trimmer was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Rife, a daugh- 
ter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Garver) Rife, natives of Pennsylvania, who came 
to Illinois in 1840 and settled in this county. Three children were born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Rife : Jacob and Joseph, both deceased ; and Elizabeth, herein mentioned. 
Ten children have blessed the household of Mr. and Mrs. Trimmer : Mary, now 
Mrs. Daniel Flickinger; Grant, who lives upon the homestead with his father; 
Libby, now Mrs. J. Weldy, of Decatur; William, of Decatur; Ida, now Mrs. 



162 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Workman; Louisa, who became the wife of Domer Westhaver, of Sinton, 
Texas ; Grace ; Stella, now Mrs. Danzusen of Decatur ; Irvin, and Charles, of 
Bearsdale, Macon county. 

Mr. Trimmer demonstrated his loyalty to the government under which he 
was born by enlisting in the One Hundred and Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry, in 
1864. He served faithfully for six months and no man rejoices more heartily 
over the result of the great conflict than he. He is identified with Dunham Post, 
No. 141, G. A. R., of Decatur, and since casting his first ballot has been an earn- 
est adherent of the principles of the republican party. He is a stanch friend of 
education and for forty years past has shown his interest in the training of the 
young for the important duties of life, acting as member of the board of directors 
of his school district. Mr. and Mrs. Trimmer have always assisted in any worthy 
enterprise of their neighborhood and as intelligent and progressive members of 
the community have made many friends. 

Mr. Trimmer was a good soldier and he has in private life maintained the 
reputation of a worthy citizen, who as the head of a large and interesting family 
has had many responsibilities, which he has discharged with courage and fidelity. 
He is known as a worthy representative of the agricultural interests of Macon 
county. 



JACOB LUTHER WALDEN. 

Jacob Luther Walden, attorney at law of Decatur, was born in Shelby county, 
Illinois, on the 5th of June, 1879, being one of the four children of Jacob and 
Sarah (Harsh) Walden, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of Indiana. 
His youthful days were spent upon the home farm with the usual experiences 
that fall to the lot of the farm boy. He attended the district schools and after- 
ward pursued a course in the Austin Normal at Effingham, Illinois. He then 
turned his attention to teaching, which profession he followed in the district 
schools and afterward spent a year as a principal of the schools of Findlay, 
Shelby county. Later he was for three years principal of the schools of Dalton 
City in Moultrie county but, while he proved a capable and successful educator, 
his ambition tended in another direction and he began preparation for the bar. 
While teaching Shelby county he read law under Judge Thornton of the firm of 
Thornton & Ragen and following the death of the judge he continued his reading 
under W. H. Ragen. His mastery of the principles of jurisprudence secured 
his admission to the bar in Illinois on the 16th of October, 1905, in which year 
he began practice in Shelby county, where he continued until September, 1908, 
when he sought a still broader and more favorable field in Decatur and has 
since been a member of the bar of this city. In the intervening period of a 
little more than two years he has given ample proof of his ability, so that a liberal 
clientage is now accorded him and his name figures in connection with the trial 
of many important litigated interests. In 1910 he was admitted to practice in 
the federal courts. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 163 

In 1905 Mr. Walden was married in Newton, Illinois, to Miss Fannie 
Kellogg, of Ohio, and unto them have been born two children : Ruth Evangeline, 
four and a half years of age ; and George Luther, who is a year old. Mr. Walden 
holds membeship with the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows at Windsor, Illinois, and belongs to the First Methodist Episcopal 
church — associations which indicate much of the nature of his interests and the 
principles that govern his conduct. 



EDWARD W. NULL. 



Edward W. Null, postmaster of Niantic, is a striking instance of the effect 
of self reliance and fortitude when adopted as principles of action early in life. 
At nine years of age he was deprived by death of his beloved mother and two 
years later his father was called away, leaving the son alone to fight the battle with 
the world. How he succeeded is told in the story of his life. He is a native of 
Missouri and was born at Middletown, Mongomery county, September 17, 1870, 
a son of Isaiah and Sarah (Lindsay) Null. The father was born near Taney- 
town, Maryland, and the mother in Ohio. They met at Middletown and there 
they were married. Mr. Null was a soldier for the Union at the time of the 
Civil war and served as sergeant in Company C, of Fagg's Fifth Regiment, 
Missouri State Militia. 

As an orphan boy of eleven years the subject of this review went to 
Taneytown, Maryland, where he took up his home with a cousin, Samuel Null, 
a farmer of Maryland, and there continued for seven years, during which time 
he assisted upon the farm and gained a common-school education. After 
arriving at eighteen years of age he began to work for himself as a carpenter, 
showing an aptitude for the trade which indicated him to be a natural mechanic. 
Later he went to Philadelphia and worked at the tinner's trade and also had 
some experience in a sawmill in Carroll county, Maryland. Having a desire to 
see more of the world and also to take advantage of larger opportunities, he 
came to Macon county about 1891 and for one season worked on a farm near 
Niantic. After this he engaged in carpenter work for two years and was then 
employed as a clerk by J. A. Cussins in Niantic. Going to St. Louis, he spent 
one winter in that city, but returned to Macon county and soon entered the em- 
ploy of Pritchett Brothers, hardware dealers of Niantic, doing the tin work of 
the firm and also clerking in the store. On January 24, 1907, he was appointed 
postmaster of Niantic and has since conducted the office to the entire satisfac- 
tion of the government officials at Washington and of the people of Niantic and 
vicinity. 

In 1900 Mr. Null was happily united in marriage to Miss Katy Corbett, of 
Niantic, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Ryan) Corbett. Mr. Null cast his 
first presidential ballot for William Henry Harrison in 1892 and has ever since 
been a stanch adherent to the republican party. He and his wife are both 
identified with the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is an official mem- 



164 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

ber, serving as trustee. He holds membership in Niantic Camp, No 329, Modern 
Woodmen of American, and served as venerable consul of the camp for one 
year. He is also connected with Lodge No. 104, Yeomen of America, and has 
acted as secretary and treasurer of the local lodge since the time of its organiza- 
tion. Mr. Null is conscientious and capable in the performance of his duties 
and thus merits the esteem in which he is held by the community. Inheriting 
worthy traits from sturdy parentage, he has always attempted to do his work 
well, so that now he enjoys a comfortable income and is on the highroad to a 
permanent prosperity. 



CHARLES W. BATTLES. 

Charles W. Battles, of Decatur, for many years a carpenter, railroad man 
and builder and now devoting his attention to his investments, was born at 
Mount Vernon, Hillsboro county, New Hampshire, August 18, 1843. He is 
a son of Thomas W. and Lucy M. (Stevens) Battles and comes of a long-lived 
family. The grandfather, Samuel Battles, who was born at Plymouth, Massa- 
chusetts, became a sea captain and owned the vessel in which he sailed for sev- 
enteen years. After acquiring a fortune he purchased three farms in New 
Hampshire, upon which he settled his sons. Captain Battles was one of the 
active and progressive men of his time and had he lived in the twentieth cen- 
tury would have been known as a captain of industry. He died at the advanced 
age of ninety-three years and nine months. The father of our subject spent the 
greater part of his life in New Hampshire but came to Decatur in 1889 and died 
in this city at the age of ninety-three years and three months. 

The boyhood days of Charles W. Battles were spent on a farm and he re- 
ceived a common-school education, later attending Appleton Academy. At 
nineteen years of age he began to serve an apprenticeship as carpenter and re- 
ceived two dollars a day from the time of starting, as he showed great aptitude 
for the trade, having inherited this talent from his father. For about ten 
years he continued as a carpenter in New Hampshire and then, seeking for a 
new field, he came west, reaching Decatur, January 5, 1869. Here he entered 
the employ of the Wabash Railway as a carpenter but was advanced to the 
position of road master and maintained headquarters at Litchfield and later at 
Decatur. He continued with the railway for fifteen years and then began 
business for himself, buying tracts of land adjoining the city and platting the 
same. He also built many residences and in his operations was very successful. 
C. W. Battles' subdivision on Union and Church streets, Decatur, is named after 
our subject and is one of the handsome residence portions of the city. For 
ten or twelve years past he has devoted his attention mainly to looking after 
his investments. 

On August 18, 1869, Mr. Battles was united in marriage to Miss Emma L. 
Spring, the ceremony being performed at the Sherman House, Chicago, by the 
Rev. W. H. Rider. Mrs. Battles was born at Wilton, New Hampshire, May 
31, 1845, an d is a daughter of John Clark and Lorena J. (Jaquith) Spring. 




.Mir. AND MRS. CHARLES W. MATT 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 167 

Her father died when she was about eight years of age and her mother soon 
afterward removed to Salmon Falls, Strafford county, New Hampshire, where 
the daughter attended school for several years, and then the mother located in 
Allegheny, Pennsylvania, giving her daughter opportunity for training in the 
normal school as a teacher. She began teaching as a supply in Allegheny and 
later in the country at Dorseyville, coming to Chicago with her brother, John 
L. Spring, an attorney of Lebanon, New Hampshire, who also served as a 
member of the New Hampshire legislature. Two children have been born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Battles: Flora, now the wife of C. W. Lewman, postal clerk 
of Decatur, and the mother of three children, Ruth, Doris and Elsie Battles; 
and Ella, who is the wife of Frank L. Suffern, of Decatur, and the mother of 
five children, Howard L., Charles W., Frank L., Edna Battles and Paul R. 

Mr. Battles cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln as president of the 
United States in 1864 and has ever since closely adhered to the republican party. 
He has never aspired to public office but devoted his attention principally to his 
own affairs and now in the evening of life he is able to enjoy a rest and relaxa- 
tion as the direct result of many years of well directed labor. He has no reason 
to regret that he selected Illinois as his adopted state, as here many of his 
dreams have been realized. Here, where he has spent nearly forty years, he has 
by honorable methods built up a fortune. It is hardly necessary to add that he 
and his estimable wife have many friends in this community. 



I. NEWTON BRICKER. 

I. Newton Bricker is now practically living retired although he engages to 
some extent in loaning money and thus encourages industry and enterprise in 
the county. For a long period he was closely identified with farming interests, 
owning and operating a tract of land of eighty acres in Friends Creek township. 
During more than half a century he has lived in Illinois, residing for a brief 
period in Piatt county, ere his removal to Macon county in 1865. He was then 
a young man of about eighteen years. His birth occurred in Coshocton county 
Ohio, June 19, 1847, an d there he resided to the age of ten years, when he 
accompanied his parents on their removal to Piatt county, Illinois. His father, 
Aaron Bricker, was a native of Pennsylvania and in that state spent the first 
seventeen years of his life, after which he went to Ohio where he met and 
married Miss Louisa Darling. He followed farming and stock-raising in the 
Buckeye state, continuing his residence there until 1858, when he removed 
westward to Illinois, taking up his abode upon a farm in Piatt county. There 
he resided for seven years and in 1865 came to Macon county. 

During the period of his youth I. Newton Bricker pursued his education in 
the common schools and worked with his father upon the home farm, early 
becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. 
There is no event of special importance to vary the routine of farm life for 
him in his boyhood and youth and in fact his entire life has been in a measure 
quietly passed, yet his record is that of a man who is classed with the substantial 



168 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

citizens of the community. It is the business man, men who are capable, ener- 
getic and faithful in their own affairs, who constitute the real strength of a 
community. In the year 1872 Mr. Bricker was married in Macon county to Miss 
Clara Young, who was born and reared in this county. They began their 
domestic life upon his farm which he cultivated and developed, adding to it 
many substantial and modern improvements. Early spring found him busy in 
the fields preparing his land for the crops and in the autumn he gathered good 
harvests. In his barn and feed lots were found good grades of stock, which 
he raised and fed for the market and this brought him a substantial financial re- 
turn. He continued to reside upon the farm until 1904, when he sold that property 
and removed to Argenta, where he erected a good residence which he now occupies. 
Here he is practically living retired but engages to some extent in loaning 
money. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Bricker was born a daughter, Grace, now the wife of 
Jacob Noble, of Sangamon county. In the fall of 1890 Mr. Bricker was again 
married, his second union being with Miss Lillie Anderson, a native of Ohio, 
who was reared and educated in that state and in Decatur, having become a 
resident of the city in her girlhood days. She is a member of the Presbyterian 
church of Argenta and is most widely and favorably known in the town. 
Politically Mr. Bricker is a republican and while he keeps well informed on the 
questions and issues of the day never seeks nor desires office. Both he and his 
wife are much esteemed in the community in which they live. He has long been 
regarded as a careful, conservative and conscientious business man, of strict 
integrity and of personal worth, who is thoroughly identified with the prosperity 
and progress of Argenta and Macon county. 



OTTOMER SCHMACHTENBERGER. 

Ottomer Schmachtenberger is now living retired in Decatur, having closed 
the record of an active business life of more than twenty years' connection with 
railway interests in this part of the country. He has made his home in Decatur 
since 1906. He was born in Stark county, Ohio, April 28, 1858, and is a son 
of Samuel and Ann Eliza (Schaefer) Schmachtenberger. The father was born 
on a farm that now constitutes a part of the site of the city of Canton, Ohio, his 
natal year being 1823. He was a son of Rudoph Schmachtenberger, who was 
born in Germany and in his youth became a resident of Ohio, probably in the lat- 
ter part of the eighteenth century. On the journey across the Atlantic both of 
his parents died while on shipboard when making the voyage in one of the old- 
time sailing vessels. They had a son and daughter who, on arriving in New 
York, became separated, the sister of Rudolph Schmachtenberger being taken 
south and adopted by a southern family. Rudolph Schmachtenberger first set- 
tled in Pennsylvania and afterward removed to Ohio, where he died at the age 
of about seventy years. His son, Samuel Schmachtenberger, became a lumber 
merchant and manufacturer of sash, doors and building supplies. In 1865 he 
removed westward to Clark county, Illinois, where he conducted a similar busi- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 169 

ness and later made his home in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he continued in 
the same line up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1899, when he was 
seventy-six years of age. His wife, who was born in 1824, survived until 1902. 

Ottomer Schmachtenberger was a pupil in the public schools to the age of 
sixteen years, when he entered his father's employ, continuing in active connec- 
tion with the business until 1886. He then entered the employ of the Wabash 
Railroad Company as fireman and later was made engineer, running between De- 
catur and St. Louis. He likewise was engineer on the Alton Railroad between 
Bloomington and St. Louis, being in charge of both freight and passenger trains. 
He retired in 1906 and removed to Decatur. During his twenty years' service 
on the road he never had a wreck, always attending strictly to business and re- 
quiring his firemen to do the same. All men who worked under him were re- 
quired to be most careful and in this way all accidents and trouble were avoided. 

On the 25th of November, 1879, Mr. Schmachtenberger was married to 
Miss Alice Beauchamp, of Clark county, Illinois, a daughter of William and 
Margaret (Hill) Beauchamp, who were natives of this state and successful 
farming people but are now deceased. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Schmach- 
tenberger are : Gertrude, who is now the wife of J. H. Shuman, of Roodhouse, 
Illinois, and has one child, Floyd H., born January 20, 1910; Mabel, a teacher 
in the public schools of Decatur; Floyd, who was born March 13, 1890, and now 
holds a clerical position in the office of the Wabash Railroad at Decatur ; Gladys, 
a high-school student; and Leonard, who died in 1889 at the age of six years. 

Mr. Schmachtenberger is a member of the Modern Woodmen camp and also 
of the Modern Americans. His political allegiance is given to the democracy 
and his family attend the Methodist church. He is now the owner of improved 
city real estate and residence property and is also interested in Texas and Arkan- 
sas farm lands. He deals some in real estate and owns a modern home at No. 
1329 West Macon street. He started out in life empty handed and as the years 
have passed has won success, gaining his prosperity by economical living, con- 
servative business methods and judicious investment. His holdings, with the 
income derived therefrom, are now sufficient to enable him to live retired and 
rest from the arduous labors to which he formerly gave such close attention. 



HENRY W. FATHAUER. 

Henry W. Fathauer, who is actively engaged in the pursuits of farming and 
stock-raising, makes his home on section 17, Mount Zion township, and is the 
owner of four hundred acres of well improved land in Macon and Moultrie coun- 
ties. His birth occurred in Baden, Germany, on the 12th of June, 1859, ms P ar ~ 
ents being Christian and Louise (Reimer) Fathauer. The father, who was a 
farmer by trade, passed away in 1880, while his wife was called to her final rest in 
1878. Christian Fathauer had emigrated to the United States in company with 
his son Henry in the year 1873 but after a short time returned to the fatherland, 
leaving our subject here to care for himself. 



170 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Henry W. Fathauer received his early education in the schools of his native 
land and after coming to America continued his studies in Macon county, being 
at that time a youth of fourteen years. Since that early age he has been de- 
pendent upon his own resources for a livelihood, being first employed as a farm 
hand. In 1880 he started out as an agriculturist on his own account by renting 
a tract of eighty acres and the success which has crowned his labors is indicated 
by the fact that he is now the owner of four hundred acres of finely improved 
land in Macon and Moultrie counties. The land is all tilled and under a high 
state of cultivation. Mr. Fathauer resides on section 17, Mount Zion township, 
in a modern and attractive dwelling. In connection with the tilling of the soil 
he makes a specialty of stock-raising, breeding Duroc Jersey hogs. He well 
merits the pround American title of a self-made man, for the prosperity which 
he now enjoys is attributable entirely to his intelligently directed labors and good 
management. He is now able to indulge in all of the comforts and some of the 
luxuries of life and recently purchased an automobile. 

On the 28th of February, 1884, Mr. Fathauer was united in marriage to 
Miss Minnie Reeter, of Macon county, her parents being Fred and Caroline 
(Busher) Reeter, natives of Hanover, Germany. They took up their abode in 
this county in 1882 and here the father successfully carried on general agricul- 
tural pursuits until the time of his demise in 1888. Mrs. Fathauer has two 
brothers and one sister living. By her marriage she has become the mother of 
five children, as follows: Ida M.; Caroline Louise; Walter W., whose natal 
day was November 26, 1892; Viola L. ; and Ora G. 

Mr. Fathauer is a republican in politics but does not consider himself bound 
by party ties and at local elections frequently casts an indepedent ballot, sup- 
porting the candidate whom he believes best qualified. For nine years he held 
the position of school trustee and for eight years has acted as a school director. 
His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the United Brethren church. 
As the architect of his own fortunes he has builded wisely and well, and his life 
record is an excellent exemplification of the fact that opportunity is open to all 
and that the road of usefulness and unfaltering activity eventually leads to the 
goal of prosperity. 



TOM W. PITNER. 



Tom W. Pitner is a representative of the manufacturing interests of De- 
catur, where he is engaged in the manufacture of burial shoes, conducting one 
of the two enterprises of this character in the country. He was born December 
21, 1875, in the city which is still his home, his parents being W. C. and S. R. 
(Starr) Pitner. The father's birth occurred near Nashville, Tennessee, August 
19, 1828, and the mother was born in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, March 27, 1839. 
The family is of German lineage, although the grandfather was born in Ten- 
nessee. In the maternal line Mr. Pitner comes of Scotch and Welsh ancestry. 
In the year 1866 his father became a resident of Decatur and is a prominent 
and well known photographer, having practiced his art for fifty-five years and 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 171 

having now the oldest established studio in the city. A man of liberal educa- 
tion, he was at one time a student in McKendree College, at Salem, Illinois. He 
had driven overland from Tennessee to North Prairie in 1837 and settled upon 
a farm, while later he turned his attention to educational interests and after- 
ward to photography. His father was a soldier in the American army in the 
war of 1812 and when the country became engaged in civil warfare W. C. Pit- 
ner enlisted in the One Hundred and Nineteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, 
with which he served for two years and nine months. He was mustered out at 
St. Louis and afterward came to Decatur, where he established his photographic 
studio, which he still owns, although he is now practically living retired. He has 
one brother, ninety-seven years of age, who still engages to some extent in the 
practice of medicine in Clay city, Illinois, and another brother, eighty-nine years 
of age, who is a retired minister. W. C. Pitner has reached the age of eighty- 
two years and is one of the most highly respected and honored residents of De- 
catur. 

Tom W. Pitner attended the ward and high schools of Decatur until graduated 
with the class of 1894. Later he devoted two years to study in the Jacksonville 
college and on the completion of his education was employed by Bixby, Pitner 
& Company, manufacturers of burial shoes. In that connection he gained his 
practical experience in the line of business in which he is now engaged. After 
the death of his brother he purchased his share in the business and later became 
sole owner of the enterprise. He is engaged successfully in the manufacture of 
burial shoes, a patented article, the patents being owned by him. Mr. Pitner 
has been successful from the outset and his trade shows substantial increase an- 
nually. 

On the 4th of August, 1903, Mr. Pitner was united in marriage to Miss Emma 
M. Muthersbaugh, of Decatur, a daughter of J. H. and Alice R. (Alexander) 
Muthersbaugh, the father a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of 
Bement, Illinois. They became well known residents of Decatur, where the 
father died May 13, 1909. Mrs. Muthersbaugh still survives and yet makes her 
home in this city. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Pitner has been born a little son, Tom W., 
whose birth occurred September 14, 1906. In his political views Mr. Pitner is 
a republican and in religious faith a Methodist. Mr. Pitner has become well 
established as a leading and representative business man of the city and well 
merits the success which has come to him. 



ALBERT A. BAUER. 



Among the successful business men of Macon county the name of Albert A. 
Bauer occupies an honored place. A native of the Buckeye state, he was born 
at Loyal Oak, Summit county, December 22, 1865, and is a son of John J. and 
Catherine (Eberhart) Bauer. The father was born in Northampton county, 
Pennsylvania, March 12, 1825, and the mother in Medina county, Ohio, Septem- 
ber 5, 1828. John J. Bauer, who was a farmer and a man of many worthy traits 



172 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

of character, departed this life on the 18th of January, 1908, his faithful wife 
having been called away three weeks previously, on December 29, 1907. Seven 
children were born to them, five of whom are now living: M. M., a practicing 
physician of Lake, Ohio; B. B., a resident of Medina county, Ohio; J. M., of 
Cleveland, Ohio; Cora, the wife of W. H. Stacker, of Akron, Ohio; and Albert A. 

The subject of this review was educated in the common schools and high 
school of his native township and began his active career as a school teacher in 
Summit county. After leaving home he was employed for two years on the 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad but later went to Cleveland and for eight years served 
as foreman in the Cleveland Rolling Mills. Being attracted westward, he came 
to Blue Mound, Illinois, in 1889 and for five years served as clerk in the store 
of which he is now one of the proprietors. Returning to Cleveland, he was for 
six years foreman of a wire mill, but in 1901 he took up his permanent residence 
in Blue Mound, purchasing a half interest in the firm of Bradley & House, the 
junior member having died. The title of the firm was changed to Bradley & Bauer, 
and the firm deals exclusively in furniture, undertaking supplies, hardware, agri- 
cultural implements, buggies, queensware, wall paper and also does a heating 
and plumbing business. In 1902 Mr. Bauer took a course of instruction in the 
National Embalming School at St. Louis, and the undertaking department of 
the firm receives his special attention. He is also in charge of the plumbing 
and heating department and, being a thorough mechanic, he is enabled to give 
expert attention to this work. The firm owns three store rooms, having a 
frontage of one hundred and twenty feet and extending back one hundred feet, 
and carries a large and well selected line of goods, which meet the demands of 
a constantly growing patronage. 

On the 8th of December, 1889, Mr. Bauer was united in marriage to Miss 
Dora House, who was born in Medina county, Ohio, a daughter of Elazier and 
Flora (Martin) House. The father was a native of Jefferson county, Ohio, 
and came to Illinois at an early date, settling at Blue Mound. He died in 1889, 
at the age of sixty-eight years. There were three children in the family : Samuel, 
who died in 1890; James E., who died in 1900; and Dora, now Mrs. Bauer. One 
child, Ruth House, born August 23, 1892, brightened the home of Mr. and Mrs. 
Bauer. She received a good education in the public schools and later studied 
music under Mrs. Beal of Decatur. She is now a successful music teacher and 
is living at home. The family occupy a handsome residence in the northwest 
part of Blue Mound, which has been twice rebuilt under the direction of Mr. 
Bauer. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bauer are both members of the Methodist church, and he is 
chorister. He is also manager of the Blue Mound band. He is an adherent 
of the democratic party but has never aspired to political honors, preferring to 
devote his attention to his private affairs. Socially he holds membership 
in the Masonic order and has taken the Royal Arch degree. He is past master 
of the blue lodge and grand lecturer of the order and is also identified with the 
Woodmen of the World. During the nine years in which he has been promi- 
nently connected with the business interests of Blue Mound he has made a host 
of friends. Exceedingly thorough in all he undertakes and conscientious in the 
discharge of every trust, he has won deserved standing as a progressive and 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 173 

man of business, who has assisted materially by his kindly and generous 
disposition in adding to the comfort and happiness of those with whom he has 
associated. As a musician he has talents of a high order and in this depart- 
ment he is doing a work which is highly appreciated by the entire community. 



JAMES M. SCOTT. 



Among the farmers of Macon county who deserve notice in this work on 
account of success in their calling is James M. Scott. He was born in Clinton 
county, Illinois, October 30, 1849, and is a son of James R. and Maria (Bous- 
man) Scott. The father was a native of South Carolina where he was born in 
1827. The mother was born in Ohio in 1829. They both came to Illinois very 
early in life with their parents who settled in Clinton county. Mr. and Mrs. 
Scott located in Macon county in 1861. The beloved mother departed this life 
in 1889 and the father in February, 1901. They were the parents of eleven 
children, five of whom are now living: James M., our subject; Bolivar C, of 
Kansas ; Olive, now Mrs. H. B. Dills, of Decatur ; John R., of Blue Mound town- 
ship, Macon county ; and George F., of Harrison county, Iowa. 

James M. Scott received his education in the common schools and as he 
grew up became thoroughly familiar with all the details of agriculture and stock- 
raising. He continued with his parents until he was twenty-eight years of age, 
then becoming foreman of the Blue Mound elevator, in which position he con- 
tinued for six years. After serving for one year in a similar capacity at Boody, 
he began to farm on his own account and after his marriage he settled in De- 
catur for a time and later devoted his attention to farming in Blue Mound and 
Pleasant View townships. He is now in charge of one hundred and sixty acres 
which he cultivates most successfully and where he also raises a high grade of 
live-stock, receiving good returns upon the time and labor expended. 

On the 9th day of December, 1885, Mr. Scott was united in marriage to Miss 
Ida Betz, who was born in Ohio, November 27, 1863. She is a daughter of 
Samuel and Catherine (Weidman) Betz, the former of whom was born in 
Pennsylvania in 1832 and the latter in Wisconsin in 1834. They came to Illinois 
in 1866 and now make their home in Blue Mound. There were nine children 
in the family, six of whom are living: Charlotte, now Mrs. Charles Herman, of 
Christian county ; Ida, herein mentioned ; John, of Blue Mound ; Rose, the widow 
of Stephen Etter, and now living near Illinois; Mary, the wife of Benton David- 
son, of Blue Mound; and Charles, of Farmersville, Montgomery county, Illi- 
nois. Four children came to brighten the home of Mr. and Mrs. Scott: Dove, 
born August 19, 1886, a graduate of the high school of Blue Mound and now a 
successful music teacher; Fay D., born January 3, 1889, also a graduate of the 
Blue Mound high school, and a very successful teacher in Macon county ; Beulah 
Fern, born May 8, 1896, in Saline county, Nebraska, now at home, and Robert 
L., born in Christian county in July, 1898. Joseph M. Scott, an uncle of our 
subject, now lives in Blue Mound, and Samuel, John and Alexander Weidman, 



174 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

uncles of Mrs. Scott on her mother's side, enlisted from Ohio and Wisconsin 
and nobly served in the cause of the Union. 

Mr. Scott is identified with the democratic party and although he has not 
sought political honors, he has served faithfully as collector. He holds mem- 
bership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and acted as deputy in that or- 
ganization for five years. Mrs. Scott is a member of the Christian church and 
an earnest worker in behalf of the social and religious progress of those with 
whom she is associated. Our .subject began his active career upon his own re- 
sources and has made a success of it. The head of a bright and intelligent 
family, he has been greatly blessed in the companionship of a wife who has been 
indeed to him a true helpmate. Their home is the abode of comfort and happi- 
ness and the center of culture and good will, whose influence is felt in the entire 
community. 



FRANK DOUGLAS TORRENCE. 

Frank Douglas Torrence, superintendent of city parks of Decatur, was born 
in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, July i, 1855, ar "d is a son of James and Rebecca 
(Thatcher) Torrence, also natives of the Keystone state. The father was born 
near Carlisle and the mother at Beaver Falls. She was of Quaker parentage and 
received a fine education, serving as teacher in the University of Pennsylvania in 
her young womanhood. James Torrence was a blacksmith and taught his trade 
to each of his five sons. The family was of good fighting stock on the paternal 
side and the men were known for generations as warriors. Grandfather Torrence 
served in the Revolutionary war and became a colonel in the patriot army and his 
father was also a soldier. James Torrence followed his trade during his entire ac- 
tive career and died in central Ohio. Later his wife came west and departed this life 
at the home of our subject. Eight children came to brighten their home. Joseph, 
one of the older sons, gained a national reputation, enlisting under the stars and 
stripes in the Civil war and becoming a general. He was wounded at the battle 
of Perryville and after the war went to Chicago as a blacksmith and amassed a 
fortune there. He died in Chicago in November, 1896. The other members of 
the family were: Oscar, a soldier of the Civil war, who carried messages for 
General Grant and lost his life in the battle of the Wilderness; James H. and 
Stewart A., twins; Frank D., our subject; Seneth, deceased; Eliza, who married 
Stewart Hodge, of Pennsylvania, and is deceased ; and Elizabeth, the wife of John 
Dailey, who was killed at the battle of Atlanta. 

Frank Douglas Torrence was educated in the public schools and followed the 
blacksmith's trade for several years, then becoming interested in civil engineering, 
to which he devoted his attention exclusively until 1901. In 1876 he located at 
Bement, Piatt county, Illinois, where he followed his profession with marked 
success. In 1901 he came to Decatur as superintendent of the city parks and has 
since continued in that position. At the time he assumed the office Fairview park 
was entirely unimproved and was a field rented by the city. Mr. Torrence pro- 
moted a movement for an appropriation of eight thousand dollars by the city for 




FRANK I). TORRENCE 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 177 

the purchase of the land, the payments extending over a period of four years. He 
has devoted a great deal of attention to this park and it now contains fifty acres 
and is one of the most beautiful spots in central Illinois. When Mr. Torrence 
assumed charge Lincoln park of twenty-two acres was a dumping ground but he 
is now transforming it into a lovely place of recreation, in which a modern drive- 
way has been completed and a street, which has been named Torrence avenue in 
honor of its projector. The park is located on the Sangamon river in one of the 
most charming, spots in Illinois. Mr. Torrence also has supervision of Central 
Park, which consists of three acres in the heart of the city and is one of the 
most attractive breathing spots that could be conceived. His home is at the 
entrance of Fairview park and under his supervision it has been made one of the 
most inviting residences in the city. 

On August 4, 1874, Mr. Torrence was united in marriage to Emma Phillips, 
a daughter of Joseph Phillips, of Ohio, who died July 17, 1905, One child, 
Rebecca, was born July 2, 1878. Our subject was married a second time, in 1907, 
to Nellie Atherton Elliot whose father was for many years a prominent merchant 
of this city. 

Mr. Torrence is affiliated with the White Cross, the Improved Order of Red 
Men, the Knights of Pythias and the Decatur Club. His religious belief is indi- 
cated by membership in the Congregational church. In him his fellow townsmen 
have found those worthy qualities and traits of character that make the useful 
citizen and no man in Decatur is more highly respected. He owes his high stand- 
ing to his industry, integrity and good judgment. He also is the happy possessor 
of a genial nature and kind heart that endear him to all with whom he comes in 
contact. 



HENRY L. HOCKADAY. 

Among the younger generation of farmers of Macon county who are making 
good headway in their chosen calling in Henry L. Hockaday, of Hickory Point 
township. He is a native of this county, born January 21, 1875, and is a son 
of Benjamin B. Hockaday, who was born in Ohio in 1832 and came to Illinois 
at twenty-three years of age, settling in Macon county. Here he bought one 
hundred and sixty acres of land for his father and later it was divided among 
the three children of the family. In 1888 he removed to Emory, Illinois, where 
he engaged in the grocery business. The mother of our subject, Sophia L. 
(Layman) Hockaday, was born in this state in 1848 and departed this life in 
1877. In the family were six children, four of whom are now living: Charles, 
a resident of Decatur; Mollie, now Mrs. Parlier, of Macon county; Lillie, now 
Mrs. Malone, of Macon county; and Henry L. 

The subject of this review was educated in the public schools and reared upon 
the home farm, continuing there until he was nineteen years of age, when he 
began life on his own account, conducting independent operations upon his 
father's farm for one year, at the end of which time, in 1895, he took up his 
residence on a farm in Hickory Point township, where he has since lived. 



178 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

In 1898 Mr. Hockaday was united in marriage to Miss Gertie Parlier, a 
daughter of Allen and Alice (Wicks) Parlier, natives of Perry county, Illinois, 
who removed to Macon county and here became identified with farming inter- 
ests. Mrs. Parlier was called from earthly scenes in 1904. She was the mother 
of a family of six children: Gertie, now Mrs. Hockaday; and William, Ernest, 
George, Grace and Fred, all of Peoria, Illinois. One child has been born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Hockaday, Ruth P., who is now eleven years of age. 

Mr. Hockaday is identified with the republican party, but represents an 
element of the party that is not confined to traditions but is able to see good 
points even in a candidate of the opposition. He votes with his party on national 
issues but reserves his decision at local elections, sometimes favoring a candidate 
irrespective of his party affiliation. As a progressive young man Mr. Hockaday 
seeks to be guided by the best light available not only in politics but in farming 
and in all other affairs with which he is connected. It is safe to prophesy that he 
will attain added success in his chosen calling as the years pass. 



ANDREW J. KAISER. 



Among the successful commercial enterprises of Decatur is that owned and 
conducted by Andrew J. Kaiser — an excellent fruit, produce, flour and feed 
business, which is carried on at Nos. 151-157 Thatcher place. He early realized 
the fact that "there is no excellence without labor" and also that in business, as 
in other relations of life, "honesty is the best policy." Close application and 
unfaltering energy, therefore, have constituted important features in his prog- 
ress since he entered the mercantile field. He was born in Buffalo, New York. 
Setpember 24, 1867, a son of Andrew and Margaret (Luley) Kaiser, both of 
whom were natives of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, the former born in 1830 and 
the latter in 1833. They came to America before their marriage, the father 
settling in Buffalo in 1851. The following year he wedded Margaret Luley and 
in order to provide for his family, worked at the brick mason's trade, which he 
followed for twenty years. Later he conducted a grocery business and was 
quite successful in that undertaking. He died in 1875 and his wife, long sur- 
viving him, passed away in April, 1909, both having continued residents of Buf- 
falo to the time of their demise. A son of the family is still living in Buffalo 
and a daughter, Mrs. Margaret Andrews, is a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Andrew J. Kaiser, who was the other member of his father's household, 
pursued his education in the public schools of Buffalo to the age of ten years 
and then began working to assist his mother, following the death of the husband 
and father. He was employed in connection with the packing business of Jacob 
Dold & Sons, entering the slaughtering house, but worked his way upward 
through various positions until he became city salesman. He remained with 
that firm for six years, at the end of which time he went to St. Paul, Minne- 
sota, as representative for the firm of Luley & Son, beef and pork packers.. 
There he continued for a year, after which he was employed by Armour & Com- 
pany as their representative, at St. Paul, Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 179 

He filled that position for seven and a half years and was then transferred by 
the house to take charge of their Chicago market. Subsequently he became 
identified with Morris & Company and was located at Pittsburg, at Indianapolis 
and at Decatur successively. In 1894 he came to this city and established a whole- 
sale fruit, produce, flour and feed business, which has proven a profitable under- 
taking from the start. He is now accorded an extensive patronage and each 
year indicates larger sales and more substantial profits. 

On the 4th of October, 1893, Mr. Kaiser was united in marriage to Miss 
Clara A. Noltimier, of St. Paul, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Noltimier, 
who were farming people and early settlers of Cottage Grove, Minnesota. They 
came form Germany in i860 and the father has now lived retired for thirty 
years. Mrs. Kaiser has five brothers and two sisters and the family circle yet 
remains unbroken by the hand of death. Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser occupy a com- 
fortable home at No. 1146 North Water street and in addition to this property 
he is the owner of considerable other realty in Decatur. 

Mr. Kaiser is indeed a self-made man. Starting out in life at the age of ten 
years, deprived of many of the advantages and opportunities which most boys 
enjoy, he has worked his way steadily upward undeterred by the difficulties and 
obstacles which he has confronted and, as the years have passed, by his industry 
and determination has triumphed over all that has barred his path to success 
and he is now numbered among the well-to-do merchants of Decatur. More- 
over, his business methods are such as will always bear close investigation and 
scrutiny and he, therefore, enjoys an honored name among colleagues and con- 
temporaries. 



L. W. BENSON. 



Well known, not only by reason of the success which he has attained in agricul- 
tural circles but also by reason of the prominent place which he has taken in the 
public life of the community in which he resides, L. W. Benson is numbered among 
the prominent and influential citizens of Harristown township, with the inter- 
ests of which he has been closely identified for more than two decades. One of 
Illinois' native sons, he was born on a farm near Chestnut, Logan county, March 
29, 1861, his parents being Dr. C. H. and Elizabeth (Patten) Benson. The father 
was born in Thornhall, England, where he was reared to manhood, after which 
he came to America and located for a time in Illinois. While in this state he 
engaged in Tract Society work and also studied medicine, in the practice of which 
he was engaged for a number of years. He was a soldier of the Civil war, lay- 
ing down all personal interests to aid his country in her hour of need. He was 
united in marriage in Nashville, Tennessee, to Miss Elizabeth Patten, who was 
born and reared in that city. 

L. W. Benson was reared upon a farm until twelve years of age, when he 
removed with his parents to Latham, Illinois, and there grew to manhood. In 
the common schools he acquired a fair education and remained at home for a 
time after laying aside his text-books. He was still in his teens, however, when 



180 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

he started out in business on his own account, his initial step being taken as a 
farm hand, since which time he has continued to devote his time and energies to 
agricultural pursuits. On the 9th of April, 1882, he was united in marriage at 
Latham, Illinois, to Miss Alice A. Joynt, who was born on a farm in Logan 
county, near Latham, and is a daughter of E. A. and Clarissa Sophia (Aldridge) 
Joynt. 

Mr. Joynt, the father of Mrs. Benson, was born in London, England, April 
4, 1833, a son of Evans D. and Mary Ann (Killick) Joynt. When about eleven 
or twelve years of age he went to sea and was thus engaged for almost four 
years, when he ran away from the service at New Orleans, making his way up 
the Mississippi river to St. Louis and thence to Alton, and later made his way 
to Jersey county, Illinois, where he worked as a farm hand at a salary of five 
dollars per month. He was thus engaged until twenty-two years of age, but 
during the intervening years had visited his old home in London three times and 
had the unusual record of having crossed the Atlantic ocean twenty-one times 
by the time he was twenty-two years old. On his last trip to his native country 
he was united in marriage to Miss Clarissa Sophia Aldridge, with whom he had 
been acquainted since childhood and who had been reared by an aunt of his. 
Immediately after his marriage he went to Logan county and there, in connec- 
tion with a brother, operated the Powell farm for a couple of years. He then 
made arrangements with the Ililnois Central Railroad Company to purchase 
eighty acres of their land in Logan county at a price of ten dollars per acre, but 
he suffered such heavy losses, however, through his horses dying, that he asked 
the company to take back forty acres of the property. Even after their as- 
surance that they would be lenient concerning his payments he nevertheless felt 
that he would rather have forty acres clear, and so prevailed upon them to take 
back forty acres. Success attended his later efforts, however, and he subse- 
quently purchased another tract of forty acres, paying fifty dollars per acre 
therefor, and on that site the village of Latham was laid out in 1872. The tract 
was subdivided into town lots and after giving the villlage the right of way for 
roads, etc., and every other lot, he had the benefit of selling the remaining lots-, 
from which he realized a most substantial sum. He is yet the owner of about 
fifty-five acres of valuable land, and is considered one of the prominent and sub- 
stantial citizens of Latham. As the years passed he and his wife became the 
parents of seven children, two of whom died in infancy. The eldest, John 
James, died in 1909, leaving a family of five children. Stephen and Clara, the 
next in order of birth, were twins. The former married Carrie Herod and 
makes his home in Harristown township, and Clara became the wife of William 
Brown and resides at Moweaqua. Alice married L. W. Benson, of this review, 
and Fred, who married Rinda Plumber, has three sons and makes his home in 
Decatur. Mr. Joynt has ever been a stalwart republican, has served as road 
commissioner and as alderman of Latham, and does all in his power to further 
the development and up-building of the village with whose interests he had been 
closely associated since its beginning. 

After his marriage L. W. Benson, whose name introduces this review, lo- 
cated upon a farm a mile northeast of Latham, which he operated for six years, 
and then, in the spring of 1888, removed to his present home, consisting of three 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 181 

hundred and twenty acres on section II, Harristown township, known as the 
F. M. Hostetter farm, which he has since worked in the capacity of renter. In the 
conduct of his agricultural pursuits Mr. Penson has employed up-to-date methods, 
has used the most modern machinery to facilitate farm labor and has kept abreast 
of the progress which is being made in agricultural lines quite as much as in 
other branches of business activity. With him laudable ambition has consti- 
tuted a stimulus for far-reaching effort, and, placing his dependence upon the 
safe and substantial qualities of energy and wise management, he has steadily 
worked his way up to the position which he now occupies among the progressive 
and prosperous agriculturists of Harristown township. 

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Benson was blessed with three children : Charles 
Elmer, who died at the age of fourteen years; Lela May, who has ac- 
quired a good common school education; and Vera Viola, who is yet attending 
school. Although Mr. Benson has been progressive and successful in business, 
he has also been a potent factor in the public life of the community in which he 
resides. Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise he has voted with 
the republican party, casting his first presidential ballot for James G. Blaine in 
1889. He was tax collector for two years and has also served as school trustee 
for several years. In 1905 he was elected to the office of supervisor and in 1907 
was reelected to that office, notwithstanding the fact that his is a strong demo- 
cratic township) — a fact which indicates something of his popularity among his 
fellow citizens. In connection with his public office he has served on various 
committees and last year was a member of the fee and salary committee. In 
his fraternal relations Mr. Benson holds membership with the Knights of Py- 
this lodge at Niantic, and also with the Modern Woodmen at Harristown, and 
has served as banker of the latter body for a number of years. 

Such in brief is the life record of one who has for more than two decades 
been closely identified with the agricultural interests of Harristown township 
and whose efforts at the same time have been potent factors in promoting the 
general welfare in many ways. He has won a high place in the estimation of 
his fellowmen not only because of the gratifying success which he has attained 
in agricultural lines but also by reason of his broad public spirit, his loyalty in 
all matters of citizenship and his many sterling traits of character. 



ANDREW JACKSON CONOVER. 

The agricultural interests of Macon county find a worthy and successful 
representative in Andrew Jackson Conover, who resides on a tract of two hun- 
dred acres on sections 5 and 8, Decatur township, one hundred and fifty-two 
acres of which belongs to him and his wife. His birth occurred in this county 
on the 22d of December, 1864, his parents being Albert and Adela (Gouge) 
Conover. The maternal grandparents, William and Parthenia (Martin) Gouge, 
were natives of Pennsylvania and Kentucky respectively and were probably of 
English ancestry. Albert Conover, the father of our subject, came of Holland 
lineage and was the ninth in order of birth in a family of thirteen children, his 



182 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

natal day being February 13, 1840, and the place of his birth Cass county, Illw 
nois. He obtained his early education in the public schools of Macon county 
and later devoted his leisure hours to study, becoming one of the best mathe- 
maticians in the county. In 1862 he enlisted for three years' service in the 
Union army as a member of Company D, Fortieth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, 
being mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, on the 7th of July, 1865. He continued 
in the field for about a year and was then transferred to hospital service at Pa- 
ducah, Kentucky, where he acted as steward during the remainder of his term 
of enlistment. On the 1st of January, i860, he had wedded Miss Adela Gouge, 
who was the fourth child in a family of thirteen and who was born in this county 
on the 24th of September, 1842. When the Civil war was ended Albert Cono- 
ver returned to Macon county, purchasing and locating upon a farm of eighty 
acres near Elwin, to the operation of which he gave his attention for about two 
years. On the expiration of that period he removed to Cass county, Missouri, 
where he engaged in the flour milling business, erecting the first mill in the 
county. Five years later the structure was destroyed by fire and as there was 
no insurance on the property, Mr. Conover was left practically penniless. His 
loss was all the more deplorable by reason of the fact that a few days previous 
to the fire he had refused an offer of five hundred acres of land for his interest 
in the mill. In order to earn a livelihood he began teaching, following that 
profession in Missouri for two terms and then once more returning to Macon 
county, Illinois. During the last two years of his life he was engaged in the 
grain business at Bearsdale and there passed away on the 12th of December, 
1890. Unto him and his wife were born nine children, the record of whom is 
as follows: Amanda, whose natal day was September 4, i860, gave her hand 
in marriage to H. N. Lehew, of Bearsdale, and was called to her final rest on 
the 14th of June. 1907. Anna M., whose birth occurred March 8, 1862, makes 
her home in Decatur and is the wife of John Boland, by whom she has three 
children. Andrew Jackson, of this review, is-the next in order of birth. Hattie 
D., who was born on the 21st of November, 1867, is the wife of E. P. Husted 
and resides in Guymon, Oklahoma. Charles, whose birth occurred March 11, 
1870, died in infancy. Lillie, born March 12, 1871, became the wife of F. A. 
Eyman, of Harristown, Macon county, and now lives in Joliet, Illinois. She is 
the mother of seven children. Mattie, whose natal day was September 12, 1873, 
gave her hand in marriage to W. T. Brown, of Peoria, by whom she has four 
children. The family reside at Guymon, Oklahoma. Dollie L., who was born 
February 28, 1876, died on the 6th of October, 1878. Fayetta, whose birth 
occurred December 29, 1880, wedded M. G. Musser, of Peoria, by whom she 
has one child. Their home is now in Los Angeles, California. 

Andrew J. Conover, whose name introduces this review, acquired his educa- 
tion in the common schools of Macon county and after putting aside his text- 
books lived on a farm with his grandfather until he had attained his majority. 
He then clerked in the store and grain office of his uncle at Harristown for one 
year, spent a similar period in California and subsequently worked at different 
places in Iowa until twenty-eight years of age, being principally engaged in the 
grain business. He was married in 1893 and during the following three years 
was employed by the Shellebarger Mill & Elevator Company. Subsequently he 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 183 

was engaged in the grain business in association with William Richey of War- 
rensburg for ten years, on the expiration of which period he took up his abode 
on his present place of two hundred acres in Decatur township, where he has 
carried on general farming and stock-raising continuously since. Alert, ener- 
getic and enterprising, he has won a gratifying measure of prosperity in the con- 
duct of his agricultural interests and is widely recognized as a substantial and 
respected citizen of his native county. In addition to his home property he and 
his wife own a tract of one hundred and six acres on sections 7 and 18, Decatur 
township. 

On the 28th of June, 1893, Mr. Conover was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary 
Etta Troutman, a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Bear) Troutman, of this 
county. She was born on the 2d of October, 1868, and was the second in order 
of birth in a family of three children, the others being as follows: Ella, whose 
birth occurred in October, 1867, and who died in infancy; and Frank S., whose 
natal day was January 26, 1873, and who wedded Elizabeth Earner, of Belle 
Plaine, Kansas. They now reside at Bearsdale, Macon county, and their children, 
are three in number. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Conover were born two children, 
namely: Frank T., whose natal day was April 22, 1894, and who passed away 
on the nth of the following July; and Albert T., whose birth occurred October 

21, 1897. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Conover has sup- 
ported the men and measures of the democracy, believing firmly in the principles 
of that party. At the present time he is serving as highway commissioner of 
Decatur township. Fraternally he is identfied with the Masons, belonging to 
Macon Lodge, No. 8, A. F. & A. M., of Decatur, Illinois, and also to the chapter. 
He is likewise a member of Bearsdale Camp, No. 1597, M. W. A. Both Mr. 
and Mrs. Conover belong to the First Methodist church of Decatur and 
exemplify its teachings in their daily lives. They occupy a prominent position 
in social circles, and their home is the abode of a warm-hearted and generous 
hospitality which is greatly enjoyed by their many friends. 



ERNEST H. LUNN. 



An extensive and profitable business is now carried on by Ernest H. Lunn, 
well known in connection with the building operations of Decatur as a contractor 
in brick and stone. He was born in Swasey, Nottinghamshire, England, March 
22, 1867, a son of Henry and Emma (Dodson) Lunn. The father, whose birth 
occurred in 1837, died in Decatur in 1904 and the mother is still living here. 
He followed contracting throughout his entire life and in this way became closely 
associated with building operations in Decatur, to which city he came with his 
family in the year 1870. He was recognized as one of the foremost contractors 
of Macon county, having erected many buildings and fine brick residences here. 
Moreover, he was a public-spirited citizen and a devout Christian man who held 
membership in the Methodist church and often acted as local minister. He* 
spoke words of wisdom and comfort and inspiration in the church services, 



184 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

visited the sick and needy throughout the city and was very charitable, sharing 
his success with those less fortunate and extending a helping hand to all who 
needed material aid. He conducted many funeral services for members of the 
church and on such occasions spoke with great tact and kindliness to the 
bereaved, his words frequently proving a comfort to sorrowing hearts. He 
left his impress for good upon the lives of all with whom he came in contact 
and his memory remains as a blessed benediction to many who knew him. 

Ernest H. Lunn was but three years of age when brought by his parents 
to the United States, and in the city schools of Decatur he pursued his education 
to the age of fourteen years, when he began learning the bricklayers' trade, 
serving a four years' apprenticeship. Soon afterward he started in business 
for himself as a contractor in brick and stone work and from the beginning he 
has been successful. In 1902 he took in a partner, but after five years the 
partnership was dissolved and he afterward conducted the business alone until 
recently, when his brother became associated with him. The importance and 
excellence of his work are indicated in the Central block, the Millikin Children's 
and Orphan's Home and many other buildings. He has erected many of the 
best brick and stone residences in the city and ranks with the leading contractors 
of central Illinois, his work being not only attractive in style )of architecture 
but also in finish, design, workmanship and durability. 

On the 8th of September, 1892, Mr. Lunn was married to Miss Caroline 
Blenz, of Decatur, a daughter of Adam Blenz, a native of Germany who was 
one of the early settlers of St. Louis and afterward became a pioneer butcher 
of Decatur, owning one of the first slaughter houses here. He was very success- 
ful and the family were prominent, being widely known to all the early citizens. 
He was also the owner of a famous running horse — Butcher Boy. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Lunn have been born four children: George, who has 
born September 3, 1893, and is learning the business with his father; Edgar, a 
high school student ; Donald ; and Vera Belle. Mr. Lunn belongs to the Modern 
Woodmen camp and gives his political support to the republican party, while 
in his religious faith he is a Methodist. An analyzation of his life work shows 
that diligence and determination have been the salient points in his career and 
upon the foundation of industry and perseverance he has builded his success. 



MOSES E. BATCHELDER. 

An excellent farm of three hundred acres pays tribute to Moses E. Batchelder, 
who has won a creditable position among the representative agriculturists of Illini 
township. The place is situated about five and one half miles northwest of 
Harristown and judicious cultivation has made this a valuable and productive 
tract. He has now passed the eighty-seventh milestone on life's journey, his 
birth having occurred in New Hampshire on the 12th of July, 1823. He is a 
son of Moses Batchelder, Sr., who was born in the year 1782 and died in 1861, 
and a grandson of David Batchelder. His grandmother had three brothers in 
the Revolutionary war, all enlisting from Massachusetts and doing valiant service 
in the attainment of American liberty. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 187 

Moses E. Batchelder arrived in Macon county in the fall of 1864 and here 
invested in land. He had been educated in the east and his thorough home 
training well qualified him for the practical and responsible duties that devolved 
upon him following his removal to the west. He had been engaged in the lum- 
ber business in the east but after coming to Illinois took up farming and 
stock-raising and has been quite successful in this department of labor. 
He is today the owner of three hundred acres about four miles north of Harris- 
town. The land is arable, responding readily to the care and labor which he be- 
stows upon it, and his careful cultivation of the fields results in the production 
of large crops, for which he finds a ready sale on the market. 

In 1852 Mr. Batchelder was married to Miss Sarah Batchelder, a daughter 
of Nathaniel and Annie (Janice) Batchelder, of New Hampshire. They be- 
came the parents of five children. The eldest, Fred, married Elizabeth Jones, 
who died leaving three children, one of whom is married and has a child — 
the great-grandchild of Moses E. Batchelder. Nathaniel C. and Frank reside 
at home. Ed married Molly Lloyd, and lives at the homestead. Clarence com- 
pletes the family. The three sons living at home now have the management 
of the farm. Mrs. Batchelder died on the 31st of August, 1910, at the age of 
eighty-eight years and was buried in Illini cemetery. Through his carefully con- 
ducted business affairs Mr. Batchelder always provided a comfortable living for 
his wife and children. In the management and operation of the farm his judg- 
ment has been sound, his methods practical and the results desirable. He has 
not allowed business cares to exclude his active participation in other interests, 
however, for he has served as a trustee of his township and as a member of 
the school board, while with the Congregational church he holds membership 
and conforms his life to its teachings. 



WILLIAM D. MOMA. 



That the life of William D. Moma has been an active one, characterized by 
unfaltering industry and unremitting energy, is indicated by the fact that he is 
now living retired, enjoying a goodly competence which has come to him as the 
logical result of earnest labor and intelligently directed effort. He was born in 
Ross county, Ohio, on the 30th of September, 1846, a son of John H. and Mary 
(Benner) Moma. His grandparents on the paternal side came from Germany 
at an early day, locating in Rockbridge county, Virginia, and in the Old Domin- 
ion John H. Moma, the father our of subject, was born. Later he went to Ohio, 
where he was married to Miss Mary Benner, a native of that state, who was also 
of German ancestry, and continued a resident of that state until March, 1859, 
when he came to Illinois, taking up his abode in Ford county. A tanner by trade, 
he followed that pursuit for a number of years in Ohio, his efforts in that 
direction making him one of the well-to-do business men of the community in 
which he made his home. Later, however, he met with financial reverses and upon 
his arrival in Ford county, where he subsequently took up his abode, his possessions 
consisted of but thirty dollars. Two years later he removed to Piatt county 



188 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

where he engaged in farming, and his labors in that field were so successful 
that he partially retrieved his lost fortune. He passed away in that county from 
the effects of a paralytic stroke, his death occurring August 4, 1885, at the age 
of eight-seven years. He had survived his wife for a number of years, her 
demise occuring on the nth of August, 1859, when she had reached her fifty- 
sixth year. In their family were two sons and two daughters, but our subject is 
the only one now living. His brother, Hugh Milton, was a soldier of the Civil 
war. He enlisted as a member of the Seventy-second Board of Trade Regiment 
from Chicago, and met death through exposure after four months' service. 

William D. Moma acquired his education in the district schools of Ohio and 
Illinois, which he attended during the winter months, the summer seasons being 
devoted to the cultivation of the home farm. He early became familiar with 
the tasks that fall to the lot of the country lad, and thus it was that, when called 
upon to lay aside his text-books at the age of fourteen years and take charge of 
his father's farm of eighty acres in Piatt county, he was thoroughly equipped 
by preliminary training to undertake the responsibilities thus devolving upon 
him, and for a number of years he operated the old homested in a most satis- 
factory and profitable manner, making it his place of residence until 1891. In 
that year he came to Macon county, purchasing a farm of one hundred and sixty 
acres in Mount Zion township, to the improvement and cultivation of which he 
at once turned his attention. Later he added another tract of one hundred and 
sixty-nine acres, making a total of three hundred and twenty-nine acres of fine 
land, two hundred and forty acres of which are located on section 18, Mount 
Zion township. This in time became one of the valuable properties of the town- 
ship, for, recognizing the value of progress as an essential factor in a successful 
farming enterprise, Mr. Moma instituted many improvements upon his place, 
where were found all of the modern conveniences and accessories to facilitate 
farm labor. His fields were brought under an excellent state of cultivation and 
in connection with general farming he engaged in stock-raising, making a 
specialty of raising and fattening hogs for the market. He became thoroughly 
acquainted with every phase of agriculture and thus his efforts counted as 
resultant forces in the conduct of business enterprises, the success of which 
proved at once gratifying and substantial. In the fall of 1910, feeling that his 
competency would permit such a step, he retired from active life to take up 
his abode at Decatur, where he is the owner of some valuable property. 

It was on the 26th of March, 1867, that Mr. Moma was united in marriage 
to Miss Katherine Peoples, who was born in Ohio and at the time of her 
marriage was residing near Columbus with her parents, who were also natives 
of that state. Of the seven children born unto Mr. and Mrs. Moma the eldest, 
Charles F., died in childhood, while two others, a son and daughter, passed away 
in infancy. The surviving members of the family are : John A., successfully carry- 
ing on farming; Fanny ; Stella, of Emporia, Kansas ; and BurtH., engaged in the 
cultivation of rice in Arkansas. In 1886, Mrs. Moma passed away and in the 
following year Mr. Moma was again married, his second union being with 
Miss Sarah Coakley, of Piatt county, Illinois. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James 
Coakley, were natives of Ohio and Pennsylvania respectively, who cast their lot 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 189 

with the early settlers of Piatt county, where for many years they have success- 
fully carried on farming. 

The religious belief of Mr. Moma is indicated by his membership in the 
Presbyterian church, while fraternally he is connected with Ionic Lodge, No. 
312, A. F. & A. M. In politics his views accord with the principles of the 
republican party, but the honors and emoluments of office have never held 
attraction for him, as he has preferred to concentrate his energies upon his 
private business interests. He is interested, however, as all true American 
citizens should be, in those projects which have a bearing upon the progress and 
improvement of the community, and he has ever been interested in the growth 
and development of his adopted country. His has been an active and useful 
life, in which he has been accorded due recognition of earnest effort and honest 
endeavor, and the rest which he now enjoys is well earned and truly merited. 



J. WALTER HODGE. 



J. Walter Hodge, a well known and prosperous agriculturist residing on sec- 
tion 4, Mount Zion township, was born in that township on the 10th of April, 
1866, his parents being Henry D. M. and Elizabeth (Adams) Hodge. The 
paternal grandparents, Henry J. and Penelope (Traughber) Hodge, were na- 
tives of North Carolina and Tennessee respectively. They removed to Sanga- 
mon county, Illinois, in 1830 and the following year he took up their abode among 
the pioneer settlers of Macon county, locating on an unimproved tract of two 
hundred and sixty acres, part of which was timber and part prairie land. The 
grandfather passed away in 1838, when a young man of twenty-five years, being 
long survived by his wife, who was called to her final rest in 1884 at the age of 
sixty-six years. 

Henry D. M. Hodge, the father of our subject, was the only child born unto 
his parents, his birth occurring in Mount Zion township, this county, on the 12th 
of November, 1837. On the 3d of November, 1859, he wedded Miss Elizabeth 
Adams, who was born in Cass county, Missouri, in 1841, her parents being 
Henry and Sarah Adams, natives of Kentucky. At the time of the outbreak 
of the Civil war Henry D. M. Hodge was compelled to return to Decatur, as his 
sympathies were with the Union and if he had remained in the south he would 
have been obliged to join the Confederate army. He considered himself fortu- 
nate in that he was able to escape with a mule team and a couple of pennies. 
After returning to the old home farm in Macon county he once more became 
identified with general agricultural pursuits here and tilled the soil sucessfully 
until 1887, since which time he has lived in honorable retirement at Decatur. He 
is widely and favorably known throughout the community, enjoying the warm 
regard and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact. His wife passed 
away in January, 1899. Two sons and one daughter yet survive. 

J. Walter Hodge attended the public schools during the period of his boy- 
hood and youth and also pursued a course of study in Brown's Commercial Col- 
lege. After putting aside his text-books he returned to his father's farm and 



190 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

has resided thereon continuously since. He is the owner of one hundred and 
twenty acres of finely improved land and also manages his father's place of two 
hundred and sixty acres. His labors as an agriculturist have been attended with 
a gratifying measure of success and he has long been numbered among the sub- 
stantial and representative citizens of the community. During the past season 
his wheat yielded thirty-three bushels an acre and he sold it for one dollar per 
bushel. 

On the 22d of March, 1889, Mr. Hodge was united in marriage to Miss Hat- 
tie Meisenhelter, of Decatur, her parents being Aaron and Angeline (Motter) 
Meisenhelter, natives of York county, Pennsylvania. They took up their abode 
among the early settlers of this county, the father becoming well known in De- 
catur and acting as a police officer. He passed away in 1877, while his wife 
was called to her final rest ten years later. They were the parents of three 
daughters and two sons. Our subject and his wife have the following children. 
Irene Gertrude, Lucile, Orlan Ray, Beulah, George Walter and Charles Willis. 
Their first born, a son, died in infancy. 

Mr. Hodge is a republican in politics and his fellow townsmen, recognizing 
his worth and ability, have called him to several positions of public trust. He 
served as commissioner of highways for one term, acted as justice of the peace 
for a similar period and has been school director for fifteen years. Fraternally 
he is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America, while his religious faith 
is indicated by his membership in the United Brethren church. Having resided 
in Macon county from his birth to the present time, he has a wide acquaintance 
here and the many sterling traits of character which he has displayed have gained 
for him an enviable place in public regard. The Hodge family has been con- 
tinuously identified with the agricultural interests of this county for eight dec- 
ades, and he whose name introduces this review is now carrying on the work 
begun by his grandfather and continued by his father. 



JOSEPHUS VEST. 



An honorable retirement in which to enjoy the fruits of former toil is the 
fitting crown of long years of earnest, indefatigable labor. Such has been 
vouchsafed to Mr. Vest, who for a considerable period was numbered among 
the leading contractors of Decatur but has now put aside business cares to enjoy 
a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. He was born March 23, 
1843, in Chillicothe, Ross county, Ohio, his parents being Henry and Elizabeth 
(Palmer) Vest. They were natives of Virginia but in early life removed to 
Ohio, where the father conducted business as a contractor and farmer. He was 
of Scotch and French ancestry and was born in 181 1, his life record covering 
the intervening years to 1884. His wife, who was born in 1810, passed away 
in 1877. The family came to Decatur in 1851 and the father here engaged in 
hauling merchandise by wagon from Springfield to Decatur. He also con- 
structed a mile and a half of Illinois Central Railroad near the old depot and 
always worked with determination to support his family. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 191 

Josephus Vest is entirely a self-educated as well as a self-made man, for he 
had the opportunity of attending school but three weeks. However, in the 
school of experience he has learned many valuable lessons and day by day has 
picked up knowledge which has made him not only a practical business man but 
one of wide and liberal views upon important questions of the day. In the 
spring of 1853 the family drove overland from Decatur to Texas, with the in- 
tention of making that state their home, but found it a most uncivilized country 
in which the work of improvement and progress seemed scarcely begun, and 
after a short stay they returned to Decatur. The trip was a perilous and dan- 
gerous one. They were often compelled to stop and make a road before they 
could drive on and had to make roads so they could cross streams and creeks. 
In the Indian territory Mr. Vest noticed that the Indian chief owned black slaves 
and some of the negroes were engaged to ferry the party across the river. In 
Texas the ranchers largely lived in houses made of four posts, which were driven 
into the ground and covered with a straw roof. The Vest family had the mis- 
fortune to lose their horses, which died, so that they were obliged to return with 
oxen. In 1857 they drove across the country with ox-teams to Pike's Peak, 
Colorado, purchasing supplies and outfitting at Kansas city and proceeding 
thence to their destination. On their arrival at Kansas City they found five 
hundred drivers in camp, moving for Mexico. The Vest party took six months' 
supplies, as the father intended to mine gold. When they drove south through 
the Indian territory they disposed of their merchandise and thence returned to 
Decatur. Subsequently the family removed to Independence, Kansas, with the 
intention of staying there but only remained for four months and again returned 
to Decatur, at which time Mr. Vest established a contracting and building busi- 
ness. In this he was successful, being closely identfied with building operations 
until about three years ago, when he retired. His close application and inde- 
fatigable energy constituted the salient features in his gratifying success. As 
the years passed on he made for himself a place among the leading contractors 
of the city and at length accumulated the handsome competence that now en- 
ables him to live retired. 

In the spring of 1862 Mr. Vest enlisted in the Illinois guard for three months 
to guard Confederate prisoners. After a month's service Captain King, of Com- 
pany A, son-in-law of Governor Yates, reorganized the two companies on guard 
duty into one. At the close of his first term Mr. Vest reenlisted in the Sixty- 
eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served during the Potomac river cam- 
paign. He was then mustered out at Springfield and returned to Decatur to 
again engage in business. 

On the 4th of September, 1864, occurred the marriage of Mr. Vest and Miss 
Hannah Gethard, of Decatur, a daughter of Richard and Phoebe (Corson) 
Gethard, who were natives of Cincinnati, Ohio, and became early settlers of 
Sangamon county, Illinois, where they followed farming. Six children have 
been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Vest: Arthur O., who died in infancy; William, 
who was born April n, 1868; Charles, who was born October 8, 1870; Frank, 
who was born in August 8, 1873; Ella, the wife of W. Shelley, of Springfield, 
Illinois; and Gertrude, the wife of O. M. Rose, a resident of Decatur. 



192 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

In his political views Mr. Vest has long been a stalwart advocate of repub- 
lican principles and his religious faith is that of the Universalist church. He 
also belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic and thus maintains pleasant re- 
lations with his old army comrades. In all matters of citizenship he is as true 
and loyal to his country today as when he followed the old flag upon the battle- 
fields of the south. Fidelity to duty has ever been one of his marked charac- 
teristics and has given him place among the substantial and worthy citizens of 
Decatur. 



ALLEN W. BRODESS. 



Allen W. Brodess is now living retired, for he has more than passed the 
Psalmist's span of life of three score years and ten. He was formerly asso- 
ciated with the grocery business but in 1908 put aside active commercial cares 
to enjoy a rest which he has truly earned and richly deserves. He was born in 
Chillicothe, Ross county, Ohio, December 27, 1835, a son of Josiah and Elizabeth 
(Bishop) Brodess, both of whom were natives of the Buckeye state. The 
father, who was born October 17, 1810, died in 1885 and the mother, whose 
birth occurred in 1813, passed away in 1880. The grandparents of Mr. Brodess 
were natives of Virginia, whence they removed to Ohio. 

Allen W. Brodess pursued his education in the public schools and afterward 
entered business life in connection with merchandising. He became traveling 
salesman for a wholesale and retail dry goods and grocery house and on remov- 
ing to Illinois established his home in Christian county, where he remained until 
the 15th of April, 1875, when he removed to Decatur. Here he has since made 
his home, covering a period of more than thirty-five years. He established a 
retail grocery business in this city and successfully conducted it for about a third 
of a century, when he sold out and retired. He had long since won recognition 
as a well known and prominent citizen here. In the conduct of his store he 
proved energetic and discriminating, his sound judgment and close application 
to business constituting the basis of his success. 

On the 6th of May, 1856, Mr. Brodess was married to Miss Elizabeth H. 
McKenzie, a native of Ross county, Ohio, where their marriage was celebrated. 
Her parents were Daniel and Anna (Sadler) McKenzie. Her father followed 
both merchandising and farming until his life's labors were terminated by death 
in 1850. His wife survived him for only a brief period, passing away in 1851. 
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Brodess are: Althea M., the wife of George Chris- 
topher, owner of a rice plantation at Jennings, Louisiana; and Clinton M., who 
was born November 25, 1861, and is a successful and progressive merchant of 
of Decatur. Mrs. Brodess is very proud of her grandson, the Rev. Arthur A. 
Heinlein, the son of her daughter by her first marriage. Mrs. Brodess reared 
this grandson until he studied for the ministry. He is now an ordained preacher 
of the Methodist church and is doing excellent work in his chosen field. He was 
born September 21, 1881, and is a graduate of the Wesleyan college at Bloom- 
ington, Illinois, and of the Garrett Theological College at Evanston. He was 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 193 

married in May, 1910, to Miss Jess Lee Fisher, of Atwood, Illinois, a young 
lady of ability who will undoubtedly prove of much assistance to him in his 
work. 

At the time of the Civil war Mr. Brodess' sympathies were all with the 
Union cause and in 1864 he enlisted in the Seventy-third Illinois Volunteer In- 
fantry. Later he was transferred to the Forty-fourth Illinois Regiment, with 
which he was mustered out at Springfield in 1865. While a resident of Christian 
county he held the office of justice of the peace and his decisions were strictly 
fair and impartial, winning him golden opinions from all sorts of people. He 
belongs to the Masonic fraternity and gives his political allegiance to the re- 
publican party. His life has been actuated by high and honorable principles, 
in keeping with his professions as a member of the Methodist church, to which 
he has belonged since 1855. 

There has never been a death in the Brodess family. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Brodess are members of the Old Settlers' Association and are among the most 
higly esteemed people of the county. In their old Ohio home they attended the 
same school and were friends from childhood. Mrs. Brodess met with a severe 
accident about two years ago, being injured by a street car which started up 
suddenly. Her left limb was fractured and she is now compelled to walk with 
crutches. She is, however, of a happy disposition and bears this misfortune 
without complaining. Mr. Brodess drove from Ohio to Illinois in a covered 
wagon. It required sixteen days to make the trip in that manner and there 
were no railroads at the time. From pioneer days he has been identified with 
the development and progress of this part of the state and has borne his share 
in the work of development and upbuilding. 



WILLIAM F. TIMMONS. 

William F. Timmons, one of the prosperous young farmers of Macon 
county, living on section 26, South Macon township, has been engaged in farming 
in this county for four years and in that time has demonstrated his ability to 
maintain a high standing as an agriculturist and stock-raiser. He is a native 
of the Buckeye state and was born in Pickaway county, March 21, 1880. He is 
a son of William Scott and Kathryn Timmons, both of whom were born in 
Ohio. The family came to Illinois in February, 1886, and settled in Douglas 
county, but later moved to Piatt county, where the father and mother are now 
living upon a farm. 

The subject of this review is the second of five children born to Mr. 
and Mrs. Timmons. He was educated in the common schools and con- 
tinued upon his father's farm until he was twenty-two years of age. 
He then began to learn telegraphy, starting in November, 1902, and in 
one year from that time he was employed in the telegraph department of the 
Big Four Railroad, later going to the Chicago & Eastern Illinois road, where he 
remained a short time, then returning to the Peoria division of the Big Four 
Railroad and finally becoming identfied with the Illinois Central, where he 



194 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

continued until 1906. He was faithful and efficient in his work and prompt in 
the discharge of his duties, receiving the commendation of officers higher 
in rank in the the telegraph department. 

On January 26, 1905, Mr. Timmons took unto himself a life companion, the 
lady of his choice being Miss Leta Giles, a daughter of Sard and Margaret 
(Davis) Giles, a record of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Timmons 
was born in this state, Feburary 11, 1887. In 1906, Mr. Timmons began farming 
one and one-half miles south of Decatur, but in the spring of 1907 moved to 
the home which he now occupies and which is owned by his father-in-law, and 
here he is well established in his vocation as a farmer. Mr. Timmons is socially 
identified with Deland Lodge, No. 740, I. O. O. F. ; Beacon Lodge, No. 434, 
K. P., both of Decatur; and is also a member of the Order of Railway Tele- 
graphers. Since arriving at maturity he has been an adherent of the republican 
party, believing that the best interests of the entire country are subserved by the 
party of protection. As a patriotic citizen Mr. Timmons assists all enterprises 
that give evidence of advancing the public good and thus adding to the general 
prosperity. His home is always open to friends and here they may expect a 
cordial greeting, as it is doubtful whether a more hospitable home is to be found 
in Macon county than that which is presided over by Mr. and Mrs. Timmons. 



J. EDWARD BERING. 



The horoscope of time has told off eighty-one years since J. Edward Bering 
started upon life's journey. It is a period in which remarkable changes have 
occurred — in which labor, invention and science have wrought marvelous re- 
sults, completely revolutionizing the methods of living and trade. Mr. Bering 
has been active in the work of general development, his labors counting for 
much where progress has conserved the best interests of various communities. 
He has been a pioneer in the development of the oil fields of Pennsylvania and 
the coal fields of Illinois, and later became closely associated with the manufac- 
turing interests of Decatur. 

He was born in Doylestown, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1829, 
while his parents, James and Unity C. (White) Bering, were natives of South 
Carolina and Pennsylvania, respectively. On the 29th of May, 1823, the father 
sailed from Charleston to Philadelphia, reaching the latter city on the 5th of 
June. On the 30th of April, 1824, he became a first lieutenant in a regiment of 
Pennsylvania militia. On the 26th of January, 1826, in Philadelphia, he was 
united in marriage to Miss Unity C. White and they began their domestic life 
in Bucks county. They removed from Doylestown to Philadelphia, when their 
son Edward was but three or four years of age, making their home on Eighth 
street, between Market and Chestnut streets, and afterward on Ninth, east 
of Market. The father there engaged in the hosiery business for many years, 
when the substantial success which he had achieved permitted him to retire and 
spend his remaining days in the enjoyment of the rest which he had truly earned 
and richly merited. He died at Haddington, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1864, 




<cy , (&€&-<s^f*/'*+''**'9 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 197 

and his grave was made in the Radnor churchyard. Their children were : Alary 
Levina, the deceased wife of Lowber Burrows; James Edward; and Ida, who 
died at the age of fourteen months, September u, 1898. 

James Edward Bering acquired his early education under the instruction 
of a private teacher in Philadelphia and afterward attended a grammar school 
and later the high school, from which he was graduated on the completion of 
the regular course. On the 6th of March, 1848, he left Philadelphia for the 
town of Summit, in the Allegheny mountains to join an engineering corps 
under George W. Leufrer, and located the famous Horseshoe Bend on the 
Pennsylvania Railroad, superintending the construction of the road around this 
notable curve, which has been regarded as one of the most remarkable pieces 
of railroad engineering accomplished in the east. He has been connected with 
civil engineering on a great number of railroads, including the Pennsylvania, 
Sunbury & Erie, Bald Eagle Valley, Allegheny Valley, Pekin, Lincoln & De- 
catur and many others, but retiring from that field of labor, turned his atten- 
tion to manufacturing interests. On the 1st of December, 1876, a company 
was formed under the firm name of Chambers, Bering & Quinlan, which firm 
still continues business. They were the first manufacturers of check rowers 
in the United States, but they did not confine their operations to that one line, 
extending the scope of their business to include hay loaders, rakes, etc. This 
is today one of the leading productive industries of Decatur, their constantly 
developing business having reached extensive proportions. 

Various enterprises and activities have from time to time claimed the at- 
tention of Mr. Bering, and his work on the whole has been of large benefit 
to the city as well as a source of revenue to himself. On the 2d of January, 
1861, he began boring for oil and organized the Mullengar Oil & Lumber Com- 
pany, at Mullengar, Pennsylvania. When doing survey work for the Sunbury 
& Erie Railroad he noticed the pits on Mullengar creek where the Indians gath- 
ered oil and leased the property two or three days after Drake struck gas, and 
had the fire that disposed of his derrick. That was the beginning of the big 
oil excitement, and Mr. Bering was the organizer of the first company formed 
for developing the oil industry. Leaving the Sunbury Railroad, he took up his 
abode in the shanty on the property, and was a prominent factor in the oil 
region of Pennsylvania, while the field was being largely worked. In 1863 he 
was drafted for service in the army at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and paid the 
three hundred dollars exemption fee, for he felt that his business interests de- 
manded his personal attention. In 1876 he began boring for coal in Decatur, 
being fully convinced that the fuel was to be found underlying his line, and 
on the 1 2th of January, struck a three and a half foot vein at a depth of six 
hundred and ten feet, which was the first discovery of coal in this section. 
As the pioneer in this undertaking, his labors have not only greatly benefited 
himself, but have been of far-reaching benefit to others, owing to the further 
development of the coal lands in this vicinity. 

On the 1st of October, 1856, Mr. Bering was united in marriage in Lock 
Haven, Pennsylvania, to Miss Mary Elizabeth Morrison, and they have three 
children: Ida Isabelle, who has now passed away; Wilson Morrison, general 
manager of the manufacturing business in which his father is financially in- 



198 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

terested ; and Alice Clementina, who was born January 6, 1872, and is the wife 
of F. L. Evans, of the Evans Elevator Company. Mr. Bering possesses several 
volumes of family genealogy containing photographs of all the different mem- 
bers of the family, which he has taken and reproduced himself, and the vol- 
umes are in his own handwriting. He has made a great study of photography, 
also mineralogy and chemistry, and his library contains evidence of his re- 
search along those lines. 

All through his life he has combined scientific knowledge with practical ex- 
perience, and the results have been most satisfactory, bringing him to a position 
in the business world where success has been achieved. His work has ever 
counted as a tangible result, and he is now numbered among Decatur's pros- 
perous residents, enjoying in the evening of life the fruits of his former toil. 
His extensive business connections have made him widely known, and honor 
and respect are accorded him wherever he is known. 



JOHN I. PASOLD. 



When one visits a city or daily passes to and fro among its business houses 
and residents, there is little thought given to the immense amount of work 
done in its actual building or of the knowledge and skill that are required in 
the construction of its substantial structures. Pausing for a moment, however, 
one must realize that the successful contractor must possess a comprehensive 
knowledge of the scientific principles of building as well as broad practical ex- 
perience in the actual work of construction of his work be pleasing and the 
results substantial and artistic. John I. Pasold as a stone contractor is numbered 
among those prominently connected with building operations in Decatur and 
monuments to his power and his enterprise are found in many of the leading 
structures of the city. 

Mr. Pasold was born in Austria, July 28, 1853, and is a son of Christian and 
Margaret (Krumholz) Pasold, both of whom were natives of the same country. 
The father was a shoemaker by trade and followed that pursuit with success 
throughout his entire life. He died in 1868 at the age of forty-nine years, and his 
wife passed away in 1903, at the age of eighty-five years. In i860 they had 
crossed the Atlantic, becoming residents of Joliet, Illinois, where their remain- 
ing days were spent. 

John I. Pasold was at that time a little lad of seven years. He attended the 
public schools of that city and was also educated under private German tuition. 
When fourteen years of age he began learning the trade of marble and stone- 
cutting, serving a three years' apprenticeship and afterward working as a 
journeyman for the firm of Zirkel & Brown, of Joliet, one of the leading and 
well established firms of that city. In 1878, however, he began business on his 
own account in Decatur, where he has since operated, and that he has been 
successful is indicated by the fact that his name is associated with many of the 
leading structures of the city as the building contractor. Among these are the 
Millikin University, Powers Grand Opera House, Orlando Powers building, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 199 

Roberts & Green block, Ullrich Bank building, Transfer station, Loeb Time 
block, Columbia block, Ullrich block, Mueller Manufacturing Company's buildings, 
the Anna B. Millikin Home, Cumberland Presbyterian church, English Lutheran 
church. New Decatur Hotel, W. H. Starr block, Illinois State Bank of Assump- 
tion, Illinois ; the public school of Clinton, Illinois, and the Philo bank of Philo, 
Illinois. This list alone indicates the nature of his work and the extent of his 
reputation for he has been called to various points outside of Decatur where he 
has done excellent work as a stone contractor. 

On the 27th of December, 1883, Mr. Pasold was married to Miss Augusta 
Long, of Decatur, a daughter of George and Elizabeth (May) Long, who were 
early settlers and well known citizens here. Mrs. Pasold has a brother George 
and two sisters living in Danville, Illinois. The father died in 1868 and the 
mother, long surviving him, passed away in 1902. The children of Mr. and 
Mrs, Pasold are : Lillian ; Notie, a high school and normal school graduate ; Clara 
M., a student of the Millikin University; John M., who was born in 1896; and 
Ruth, who completes the family. They also lost one son, who died at the age 
of two months. Musical talent is very pronounced among the members of the 
family. 

Mr. Pasold is well known in Masonic circles, belonging to Ionic Lodge, No. 
312, A. F. & A. M., Decatur Chapter, No. 21, R. A. M.; and Decatur Command- 
ery No. 9, K. T. He is also associated with the Loyal Americans. His political 
allegiance is given to the republican party and his religous faith is manifest in 
his membership in the Presbyterian church. He has not only made himself a 
prominent place in business circles but is also the architect and builder of his 
own fortunes, in which connection he has done excellent work, his record 
proving, too, that success and honored name may be won simultaneously. 



TIMOTHY S. CHILDS, D. D. S. 

Dentistry may be said to be almost unique among other occupations, as it 
is at once a profession, a trade and a business. Such being the case, it follows 
that in order to attain the highest success in it one must be thoroughly con- 
versant with the theory of the art, must be expert with the many tools and 
appliances incidental to the practice of modern dentistry and must possess 
business qualifications adequate to dealing with the financial side of the profes- 
sion. In all of these particulars Dr. Childs is well qualified and therefore has 
attained prestige among the able representatives of dentistry in Decatur. 

A native son of Macon county, he was born in Mini township in 1865, one 
of the eight children of Mr. and Mrs. John S. Childs. The father died in 1905 
and the mother in 1909. He had been a lifelong farmer and owned a section 
of land in Mini township. His success enabled him to provide well for his 
children and his widow and at her death the part of the estate which she had 
inherited was divided among their sons and daughters. As his share Dr. Childs 
received eighty acres of choice land near Warrensburg. He was reared to farm 
life with the usual experiences that fall to the lot of the farm boy who does 



200 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

the chores and aids in the work of early planting and plowing and in gathering 
harvests in the autumn. Good educational privileges, however, were accorded 
him. After attending the district schools he spent one year in the Wesleyan 
University, at Bloomington and was graduated from the Northern Indiana Normal 
School at Valparaiso. Subsequently he matriculated in the University of 
Michigan for professional training and was graduated from the dental depart- 
ment with the class of 1892, at which time he won his degree. Following his 
graduation he returned to Macon county and opened a dental parlor in Decatur, 
where in the intervening period of nineteen years he has built up an extensive 
practice. He has always kept in touch with the progress of the profession in 
the methods of practice and in the inventions which facilitate the work of the 
operating room. He belongs to the Macon County Dental Society and his close 
conformity to the strict ethics of the profession has won him the high regard 
of his fellow practitioners. 

Dr. Childs was married in 1894 to Miss Carletta Hane and they have become 
parents of a daughter and three sons: Agnes, John, Russell and Robert. Dr. 
and Mrs. Childs have a wide acquaintance in Decatur and are favorably received 
into the best social circles of the city. He is also prominent in musical circles, 
having for a number of years been a member of the Goodman Band and 
historian of that organization. He has been the cornet soloist and is still identi- 
fied with the band, his musical talents contributing in no small measure to the 
high reputation of the organization. 



W. M. SHETTEL. 



The experience of many years goes to prove that a young man who has 
been reared to work and is governed by the right principles has little excuse to 
offer in this country if he does not attain a fair degree of success in what he 
undertakes. Lack of ambition holds many a competent young man back, but not 
so with W. M. Shettel, who has from his earliest recollection been blessed with 
the laudable desire to accomplish something worthy of the name. The son of 
a blacksmith, he has from boyhood been closely identified with that trade and is 
now proprietor of a blacksmith establishment at Harristown. He is also a 
dealer in agricultural implements, proprietor of a feed stable and is in charge 
of a flourishing automobile agency. 

He was born near York, Pennsylvania, March 2, 1879, a son of Daniel and 
Sarah (Jacoba) Shettel, both of whom were natives of the Keystone state, and 
a grandson of Daniel and Elizabeth Shettel, also natives of Pennsylvania. The 
grandfather was a farmer but his son became a blacksmith and when the subject 
of this review became old enough he was put to work in the shop. He acquired 
a common-school education and at sixteen years of age, feeling that opportuni- 
ties lay westward, he came to Macon county and for the first two years after his 
arrival worked upon a farm. At the end of this time he entered the blacksmith 
shop of a brother who was living at Warrensburg, this county, and there he 
continued for seven years, becoming thoroughly familiar with the blacksmith's 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 201 

trade. He next worked for two years in a shop at Greenview, Menard county. 
Having saved his money, he came to Harristown in 1904 and purchased a shop, 
starting in business for himself. After he had fairly launched upon his 
independent venture, he entered the implement business and still later he opened 
a feed stable. In July, 1910, he accepted the agency of the Interstate Automobile 
Company and up to date has disposed of a number of automobiles. He also 
does repair work on automobiles and in his various lines of business has shown 
an energy and capacity that give promise of continued advancement. 

On September 2, 1903, at Warrensburg, Mr. Shettel was united in marriage 
to Miss Ada Taggart, a daughter of Captain Taggart. She is a well educated 
woman and by her sympathy and cooperation has greatly assisted her husband 
in his work. Having no children of their own, they have adopted a son, Earl 
Edwin, whom they propose to educate in such a way that he will make a useful 
and honorable citizen. 

Mr. Shettel is a man of public spirit and in 1905, being a strong advocate of 
water works for Harristown, he prevailed upon Mr. Scroggin to supply the 
money so that the town now has a modern system of waterworks operated by 
compressed air by a gasoline engine. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen 
of America and his wife of the Royal Neighbors, and they are also connected 
with the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Shettel is a loyal and faithful citizen, 
having the best interests of the community at heart, and is politically identified 
with the republican party, of which he as been an earnest supporter ever since 
he arrived at man's estate. 



NICHOLAS DRAKE. 



Although more than a quarter of a century has come and gone since Nicholas 
Drake was called from this life he is yet well remembered by many who knew 
him as one of the prosperous and representative farmers of this section of the 
state. He became a resident of Macon county in 1861, at which time he 
purchased a tract of eighty acres of wild prairie land lying in Friends Creek 
township. He at once began the arduous task of breaking the sod, and when 
the fields were prepared for cultivation he planted the seed, later cultivated the 
crops, and in due time gathered abundant harvests. He also fenced his fields 
and otherwise improved his place, erecting thereon substantial buildings. He 
also extended the boundaries of his farm by the additional purchase of forty 
acres, and in course of time developed a good property. The soil is naturally 
rich and productive, and as the result of his cultivation he was able to derive a 
substantial annual income from his crops. 

On the 28th of February, 1865, Mr. Drake was married to Miss Margaret 
J. Briggs, a native of Franklin county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of John 
and Mary Briggs, both of whom were natives of the Keystone state. On, 
removing westward the Briggs family settled in Ohio, and there the father 
died. The mother with her children afterward journeyed westward with teams 
across the country to Illinois in 1863, and settled in Macon county on Friends 



202 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Creek, where she spent her last years. Mrs. Drake was reared and educated 
in Ohio and accompanied her mother to Illinois, where two years later she gave 
her hand in marriage to Nicholas Drake, being at that time eighteen years of 
age. They established their home upon a farm in Friends Creek township, and 
Mr. Drake being an industrious and enterprising agriculturist, ever kept his 
place in good shape. As the years passed he became known as a successful 
farmer, stock-raiser and feeder, and his business interests brought him into 
close connection with the people of Decatur. He was recognized as a man of 
good business ability, of strict integrity, and sterling personal worth. He reared 
his family and spent his last years upon the farm, and his death was the occasion 
of deep regret to all who knew him. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Drake was born a daughter, Alice, now the wife of 
Alfred Marsh, a resident of Maroa, by whom she has one son, Roy Marsh. The 
two sons of the family have passed away. St. Clair Drake was married and 
followed farming in Macon county until his death. He left a wife and two 
daughters: Nora, now the wife of Newton Burkam, who occupies Mrs. Drake's 
farm; and Mary, at home. The other son was John W., who married Alice 
Naridith. He was engaged in railroading for eighteen years and was killed by 
a train in Chicago. 

After her husband's death Mrs. Drake took charge of the farm and carefully 
managed her business affairs for a number of years, displaying in this good 
ability, keen insight and capable management. At length she left the farm 
however, and removed to Argenta, where she purchased a neat and pleasant 
home, which she has occupied for a number of years. Her wise control of her 
business interests has brought to her a good income, supplying her with all of 
the comforts and some of the luxuries of life. 



HON. THOMAS N. LEAVITT. 

Real worth and ability will always come to the front: it is an inevitable 
conclusion, as it were, a "survival of the fittest." While Hon. Thomas N. 
Leavitt, had no particular advantages at the outset of his career, his course has 
been marked by a steady progress and has wrought along the lines of general 
good, while at the same time he has made continuous advancement in those 
fields of business wherein his talent and qualities have found adequate expression. 
A native of New Hampshire, Mr. Leavitt was born in Rockingham county, 
October 6, 1838, a son of Anthony B. and Fannie F. (Lamprey) Leavitt, who 
were also natives of the Old Granite state. They left New England, however, 
in 1843, and made their way westward to Peoria county, Illinois, where they 
resided until 1848, when they became residents of Marshall county, this state. 
The following year the father crossed the plains to California and his death 
occurred in that state in 1850, when he was thirty-five years of age. His birth 
had occurred in 181 5 and he was married in 1837. He was a carpenter by trade 
and followed that pursuit in order to provide for his family until the hope of 
more rapidly winning a competence in the mines of the west led him to the 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 203 

Pacific coast. His widow, who was born in 1815, died in 1896. In their family 
were four children ; Thomas N., of this review ; Mrs. Hannah Finney, who died 
in Henry, Illinois, in 1908; John F., who has been engaged in the ice business 
in Henry for a number of years; and Mrs. Fannie E. Kingsley, a widow of 
York, Nebraska. 

Thomas N. Leavitt accompanied his parents on their various removals in his 
youthful days. He continued a resident of Marshall county, Illinois, until 1861, 
when he removed to Maroa, where he has since made his home. His education 
was acquired in the public schools of Henry and in the Northern Illinois Institute 
at that place, attending the latter school for two years. After putting aside his 
text-books he carried on farming for four years, but the outbreak of the Civil 
war made the interests of his country a paramount factor in his life and in July, 
1862 he enlisted for active service at the front, becoming a member of Company 
C of the Sixty-sixth Illinois Regiment, known as Burgess or Western Sharp- 
shooters. After serving with that command for three years he was honorably 
discharged in November, 1864, as a noncommissioned officer holding the rank 
of corporal. He participated in the Sherman campaign through Georgia, was 
in the battle of Corinth and took part in many engagements, including all of 
those in which his regiment participated and some in which the command did not 
take part, this being due to the fact that he was an orderly at headquarters. 

When the war was over Mr. Leavitt entered the grocery business in Maroa 
and after successfully continuing in that trade for some time sold out and 
turned his attention to the lumber, coal and farm implement business. In all 
of his efforts in the field of merchandising he has displayed marked enterprise 
and indefatigable energy and success has followed as the legitimate reward of 
his labors. Moreover he has been a prominent factor in the early life of the 
community and no man is more widely known or more popular in Maroa and 
his part of the county. He served as postmaster for seventeen consecutive years, 
being first appointed during President Grant's first administration. He was 
recommended to the office by General Moore, who was then congressman from 
this district. He continued to engage in merchandising during the time when he 
was postmaster and in fact was numbered among the prominent representatives 
of commercial interests in Maroa until 1900, when he retired from business. 
He has, however, been a director of the State Bank of Clinton since its organiza- 
tion in 1892. 

In political circles Mr. Leavitt is a prominent figure and since age conferred 
upon him the right of franchise he has ever been a stalwart republican. His 
opinions carry weight in the councils of his party and his efforts have been 
effective in promoting republican success. He was elected to the thirty-eighth 
general assembly for a term of two years, has been a member of the state 
board of equalization for two terms of four years each, from 1896 until 1900 
and again from 1904 until 1908, and was chairman of the board of supervisors 
for one term, before being sent as a representative to the legislature. He was 
also elected to the forty-seventh general assembly. He has likewise been a 
Selegate to state and congressional conventions and is widely recognized as one 
of the prominent republicans in this section of Illinois. 



204 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

On the 31st of October, 1858, Mr. Leavitt was united in marriage to Miss 
Catharine A. Crowell, who was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1843, a daughter 
of Moses and Salina Crowell, who removed with their family to Illinois. Mr. 
and Mrs. Leavitt now have one child, Clara F., who is the wife of J. F. Harris, 
of Maroa, and has two children, Newell L. and Alma F. Mr. Leavitt belongs to 
the Masonic fraternity in which he has taken the degrees of the blue lodge and 
chapter at Maroa and the Knights Templar commandery at Clinton, Illinois. He 
is also a member of the Mystic Shrine of Peoria. His has been an active and 
well spent life in which success has followed legitimate labor, intelligently 
directed, while his worth and value as a citizen are attested by the many times 
he has been called to public office by the appointment or vote of his fellow 
townsmen. In matters of citizenship he has ever displayed a most progressive 
spirit and is as true and loyal to the old flag in days of peace as when he, 
followed the nation's starry banner on the battle fields of the south. 



WILLIAM F. BUSHER. 

Those who were residents of Decatur when William F. Busher arrived in this 
city over a half century ago can remember him as a humble shoemaker, working 
at the bench, mending shoes and doing other such tasks as fell to his lot. At the 
time of his death he was a capitalist, living retired from labor, for his life of 
industry and strict and unswerving integrity, combined with perseverance and 
unremitting diligence, brought to him a handsome competence. He was a native 
of the fatherland. Much of the civilization of the world has come from the 
Teutonic race. Continually moving westward, they have taken with them the 
enterprise and advancement of their eastern homes and have become valued and 
useful citizens of various localities. In this country especially have they demon- 
strated their power to adapt themselves to new circumstances, retaining at the 
same time their progressiveness and energy, and have become loyal and devoted 
citizens, true to the institutions of the "land of the free" and untiring in promotion 
of all that will prove of benefit to their adopted country. The German element 
in America forms an important part of American citizenship and while they 
cannot attain to the highest civil office in the gift of the people, they have given 
ample evidence of their power to sustain and uphold the government of the re- 
public and to become the factors in various communities to whom the locality 
owes its progress and prosperity. 

When William F. Busher was born in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, in 
December, 183 1, his parents might have dreamed of a brilliant future for their 
little son, but it is safe to say that they never thought that he would one day be- 
come one of the foremost citizens of an enterprising metropolitan center of Illi- 
nois. He was, however, associated with Decatur for more than a half century 
and his name occupied a conspicuous place on the pages of its commercial his- 
tory. His parents, Frederick and Dorothy (Reimer) Busher, were both natives 
of Germany and the father was a farmer by occupation, to which pursuit he 




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MRS.W.F. BUSHER 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 209 

devoted the best years of his life. Both he and his wife passed away in the father- 
land. 

In the usual manner of farm lands of that district and period William F. 
Busher was reared. He attended the common schools, acquiring a good knowl- 
edge of the German language and the branches therein taught and also a fair 
knowledge of the English tongue. Attracted by the business possibilities of 
the new world he came to the United States and in 1849 landed at Baltimore, 
Maryland, whence he proceeded by rail and canal to Pittsburg and thence by 
steamboat to Cincinnati, Ohio. He was then in his eighteenth year and for a 
time he attended school in Cincinnati. Prepared for a business career by learn- 
ing the shoemaker's trade in Germany, during his first few months in that city 
he received one dollar per week and his board. For three years he remained in 
Cincinnati and then went to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he followed his trade 
for twelve months. On the expiration of that period he took up his abode in St. 
Louis, Missouri, where he worked at shoemaking until 1853, which year witnessed 
his arrival in Springfield, Illinois. In that city he attended the Lutheran College 
for a time and thus added to his knowledge and at the same time gained a greater 
proficiency in the use of the English tongue. The development of his character 
was based upon firm Christian faith and the principles with which he became im- 
bued through attendance at Sunday school and church were potent factors in 
shaping his entire career. 

In 1855 Mr. Busher came to Decatur and here he opened a shoe shop for the 
purpose of making and mending shoes, continuing to work on the bench until 
1862. He then purchased a small stock of ready-made goods and finding that 
there was more profit to be made in the sale of such goods than in making them 
he entered into partnership with John Black and purchased quite a large stock. 
Opening their store, the firm soon secured a large and growing trade and the 
partnership existed continuously from 1871 until 1881, when it was dissolved by 
mutual consent. Mr. Busher purchased his partner's interest and for some time 
was alone, but afterward became associated with Walter Hutchins under the 
firm style of W. F. Busher & Company. This relation was maintained for five 
years and then again Mr. Busher became sole proprietor. He was then carrying 
a large and carefully selected stock and had an extensive patronage, which made 
the business very remunerative. For almost forty years he was a representative 
of commercial interests in Decatur and in 1894, with a handsome competence as 
the reward of his labors, he retired from mercantile life. In 1862 he had erected 
a good business block at 152 East Main street. It is twenty-two by eighty feet 
and three stories in height, and this he owned at the time of his death. He also 
had other property interests in Decatur, including a number of dwelling houses, 
which he rented and from which he derived a good annual income. 

Mr. Busher was twice married. On the 21st of February, 1856, he wedded 
Miss Louise Bekemyer of Springfield. She was born in Germany, spending the 
greater part of her girlhood in Prussia, but was living in the capital of Illinois at 
the time of her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Busher became the parents of four chil- 
dren: Walter, who died in his twenty-first year; Carrie, who is the wife of 
George P. Zeiss, of Houston, Texas; Sophia B., who is the wife of William P. 
Shade, a prominent business man and merchant of Decatur; and Josie, the wife 



210 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

of Charles Schuck, a lumber merchant of Springfield, Illinois. The wife and 
mother passed away in October, 1897, and in 1898 Mr. Busher was again married, 
his second union being with Mrs. Mary A. Jones, a most estimable lady whose 
value in social and benevolent circles is widely acknowledged. She is a mem- 
ber of the board of managers of the Anna B. Millikin Home, a charitable institu- 
tion, and in her is vested the power of admission and dismission in connection 
with this home. She possesses not only rare executive ability and marked tact 
in dealing with the unfortunate ones of life, but also a most cordial and charming 
manner that has made her a favorite among her many friends. She presides 
with gracious hospitality over her own beautiful home and its good cheer has 
ever been greatly enjoyed by the many who have known both Mr. and Mrs. 
Busher in Decatur. William F. Curtis Busher, a son of Mrs. Busher by her first 
husband, was adopted by our subject and now retains his name. 

While actively connected with business affairs Mr. Busher also found time 
to aid in the promotion of interests calculated to benefit his city and his coopera- 
tion with movements for the general good was far-reaching and beneficial. His 
fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to serve in the 
city council, of which he was a member in 1870- 1. He was never an active 
politician, however, and the honors of office had little attraction for him. Mr. 
Busher was among the first to erect a monument of marked beauty to the mem- 
ory of his family in Greenwood cemetery. This is in the form of a mausoleum 
built of granite by most skilled workmen, and was constructed at a cost of sev- 
eral thousand dollars. About 1873 he erected a fine residence, built of brick and 
modern in all of its appointments. Mr. Busher was called to his final rest on the 
5th of September, 1906. His life's span covered three-quarters of a century and 
although the snows of many winters rested upon his head in spirit and interests 
he seemed yet in his prime. He never had occasion to regret his determination 
to seek a home in America, for in this land, where opportunity is open to all, 
he steadily advanced until he occupied a foremost position as one of the wealthy 
and honored men of his adopted city. 



ANDREW J. HANKS. 



Andrew J. Hanks is one of the oldest native sons of Macon county and its 
history is largely familiar to him. He relates many interesting incidents of the 
early days and his memory forms a connecting link between the primitive past 
and the progressive present. He was born May 17, 1835, on the site of what is 
now Boiling Springs in Hicktory Point township, four miles northwest of De- 
catur. He comes of a family who were relatives of Abraham Lincoln in the 
maternal line. John Hanks, his uncle, was an early associate of Lincoln and 
was born in Hardin county, Kentucky, on the 9th of February, 1802. He was 
a son of William Hanks, the grandfather of Andrew J. Hanks of this review. 
William Hanks was a Virginia by birth and at an early date removed to Ken- 
tucky, settling in Mercer county, on the Kentucky river. He married Elizabeth 
Hall and they lived for some time in Hardin and Breckinridge counties, of Ken- 




RUSHER MAUSOLEUM 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 213 

tucky, until they crossed the line into Grayson county. William Hanks first 
became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln in Hardin county. He was an own 
cousin of Nancy Hanks, Lincoln's mother. In 1822 John Hanks paid a visit to 
to the Lincolns in Spencer county, Indiana, whither they had moved, and made his 
home with them for two years. He split rails with the martyred president, who 
was seven years his junior, and they also worked together at grubbing lands and 
at other labor required in the development of a farm in a new country. Mr. 
Hanks purchased a tract of land adjoining the Lincoln farm, which he improved 
and then returned to Kentucky. He afterward made twelve trips down the Ohio 
and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, for the only means of disposing of his 
products was by freighting down the rivers on flat boats to the Crescent City. 
In 1826 he married Susan Wilson, a native of Grayson county, Kentucky, and in 
the fall of 1828 they became residents of Macon county, Illinois, settling in Har- 
ristown township, four miles northwest of Decatur. On their way to their new 
home they passed through Spencer county, Indiana, and visited for a time with 
the Lincoln family, Thomas Lincoln, the father of Abraham Lincoln, requested 
Mr. Hanks to write back, when he got to Illinois, and inform them concerning 
the country which he found and if it was better than in Indiana the Lincoln 
family would also come to Illinois. In accordance with this request Mr. Hanks 
wrote after becoming settled in Macon county, that he liked the country very 
much, considering it superior to that part of Indiana in which the Lincolns lived. 
In consequence Thomas Lincoln and his family came to Macon county in March, 
1830. On coming to Macon county, Mr. Hanks had cut enough logs for a house 
on the Sangamon river but on account of not being able to get any prairie broken 
had settled in Hickory Point township. On the arrival of Thomas Lincoln, Mr. 
Hanks told him that he might have the logs to build a cabin if he liked the loca- 
tion. The offer was accepted and young Abe Lincoln hauled the logs with a 
yoke of oxen and used them in building a cabin near the Sangamon river in Har- 
ristown township. There the Lincoln family lived while residents of Macon 
county. In the summer of 1830 John Hanks went to the Lincoln home to help 
them fence a tract of land and he and Abraham Lincoln cut and split enough 
rails to enclose fifteen acres. It was from this lot that the rails were taken which 
were displayed at the Chicago convention in i860. In the spring of 1831 Mr. 
Hanks and Abraham Lincoln built a flat boat at Sangamontown, five miles from 
Springfield, going to that town in March, cutting the timber, building the boat 
and in May floating it down the Sangamon and on to the Mississippi river. At 
St. Louis John Hanks left the boat to return home and visit his family, while 
Lincoln and the others of the crew took the boat down the Mississippi to New 
Orleans. 

In 1832 John Hanks served in the Black Hawk war as a member of a com- 
pany commanded by Isaac C. Pugh, and thus aided in terminating the Indian 
outbreak in Illinois. He afterward returned to Macon county, where he en- 
gaged in farming until 1850, when he crossed the plains to California, spending 
three years in mining there about seventy miles from Sacramento. In 1853 he 
returned to Macon county and was here indentified with farming interests until 
after the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Company A, Twenty- 
first Illinois Regiment, which was then commanded by Colonel, afterward Gen- 



214 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

eral, U. S. Grant. Although fifty-nine years at the time of his enlistment, Mr. 
Hanks served for over two years as wagon master and when Grant had com- 
mand of the regiment Mr. Hanks had charge of his staff team. He was on duty 
in Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi, and was 
honorably discharged at Winchester, Tennessee. When Lincoln was elected to 
the presidency, he invited Mr. Hanks to dine with him in Springfield and offered 
to do anything for him as an old comrade but Mr. Hanks declined to accept 
an office, preferring to be with his family at home. Prior to the war he was a 
democrat but always supported Lincoln when he was a candidate for any office 
and after the Rebellion he remained a stanch republican. His wife died in 
March, 1863. In the family were eight children: William; James Lewis; Jane, 
the wife of Alexander T. Medlin ; John Felix; Emily, the wife of Elijah Loomis; 
Grayson; Mary Ellen, the wife of John Manning; and Levi. 

James Hanks, the father of Andrew J. Hanks, was born in Kentucky in 1790 
and was the eldest child of William and Elizabeth (Hall) Hanks, pioneer resi- 
dents of Macon county. He wedded Rebecca Atherton, and their children were: 
Isaac; Nancy, the wife of Abe Miller; Elizabeth Jane, the wife of J. Henkle; 
Mary, who died in childhood; John Lewis, who also died in childhood; Lucinda 
Jane, the wife of Jacob Harris; William Benjamin; Andrew J., of this review; 
Margaret ; Sarah, the wife of Wesley Calhoun ; Rebecca Ellen, the wife of J. W. 
Tyler; Susan Malinda, who died in childhood; and Martha Emeline, the wife 
of Benjamin Ryder. The father of these children was laid to rest on the bluff 
of the creek near his old home but later his remains were disinterred and placed 
in Greenwood cemetery. The venerable mother of the family, who was born 
in Kentucky, in 1802, died in Macon county. At one time James Hanks was 
offered a Mexican land warrant for eighty dollars, which would have secured 
land within six miles of Decatur. He was the sixth man to settle in Macon 
county. His first home was built of round logs and the little cabin was situated 
a quarter of a mile north of the Boiling Springs. It contained four rooms and 
it was there that Andrew J. Hanks first saw the light of day. There is a con- 
trast presented between the buildings of the present time and that in which the log 
houses were constructed. First large logs were laid in position as sills and on these 
were placed strong sleepers which supported the rough hewn puncheon floors. 
The logs were then built up until the proper height for the eves was reacher 
then the ends of the building were placed and upon the whole were laid poles 
longer than the logs, projecting eighteen or more inches over the side, called 
butting pole sleepers. On the prejecting ends of these were placed the butting 
pole, which served to give the line to the first row of clapboards. As a matter 
of course these were split and, as the gables of the cabin were built up. were laid 
on so as to lap a third of their length. They were kept in place by the weight 
of a heavy pole which was laid across the roof parallel to the ridge pole. The 
house was then chinked and daubed with a coarse mortar and in one end of the 
house was a huge fireplace, over which the meals were cooked. It also furnished 
heat in the winter, for there were no stoves in the early days. The ceilings 
above were sometimes covered with the pelts of the raccoon, opossum or the 
wolf, which added much to the warmth of the building and sometimes the soft 
inner bark of the basswood had to be used for the same purpose. A log would 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 215 

be taken out of the side of the house and in the aperture were placed sheets of 
strong paper, well greased with coon grease or bear oil and in this way the room 
was lighted. A ladder made from sassafras poles with rungs placed in holes 
served as a means for entrance into the loft. There were no hinges on the doors 
and attached to the wooden latch was a string that hung on the outside in the 
daytime and was withdrawn through a hole at night so that the door could not 
be opened from without. Flint and tow were used to ignite the fires and furni- 
ture was all made on the place from a puncheon. The seats were made with 
three or four legs supporting a horizontal block of wood. Bedsteads were in 
keeping with the rest of the furniture and were so constructed that they could 
be drawn up and fastened to the wall in the day in order to make more room. 
All furniture was manufactured with an ax and auger and each man was his 
own carpenter. The common table knife was the pack knife or butcher knife, 
the prairie was broken with ox teams and the work of the farm was of a most 
arduous character. The father of Mr. Hanks has killed as high as four or five 
wild turkeys from his cabin door. Brooms were made from hickory brush, Mrs. 
Hanks manufacturing many of them. Andrew J. Hanks and his father also 
manufactured baskets for the market in Springfield, to which place he has hauled 
many a load and the father has also hauled butter to Springfield, carrying as 
high as two thousand pounds on a load, where he sold it for six or seven cents 
per pound. This venerable pioneer and cousin of Abraham Lincoln crossed into 
Illinois with a two wheeled cart and camping outfit. In later years Andrew J. 
Hanks returned to Kentucky with a two horse wagon, which trip was an event- 
ful one. While crossing the White river at Vincennes, Indiana, the wagon being 
loaded on an old scow, Mr. Hanks in some way fell overboard into the water. 
The stories which he tells of the early days are most interesting and give a very 
clear and correct picture of conditions that existed at that time. He well re- 
members holding a grease light while the father made the shoes for the family 
and also made the lasts upon which they were shaped. Wild animals of many 
kinds were to be seen around the cabin and he has seen as many as eighteen 
deer in a drove upon the place. While being sent out to pen up the sheep, Mr. 
Hanks has often met wolves, from which the farm animals had to be protected. 
His mother bore her full part in the work of those pioneer days. She would 
spin and weave the cloth used in making all the clothing for the family and from 
flax manufactured the thread which she used. She was greatly beloved through- 
out the neighborhood because of her kindliness, her hospitality and her helpful 
spirit. She was often seen on horseback riding to church, sometimes coming to 
Decatur to attend the meetings of the Christian church, to which she belonged. 
She possessed all the virtues of a good housewife of the early day. Her corn 
dodgers were considered a luxury and her well cooked meals prepared in skillets 
in the fireplace were greatly relished not only by the family but by the many 
guests who partook of the hospitality of that pioneer home. 

Andrew J. Hanks is now the oldest member of the Hanks Association, which 
held their reunion at Fairview Park in Decatur on the 26th of August, 1910. He 
is a typical pioneer citizen, a man of retentive memory, who was reared and edu- 
cated amid the pioneer surroundings in the days when the subscription school 
existed. The schoolhouse was very primitive, with its puncheon floors and slab 



216 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

seats. His life history if written in detail would constitute a most interesting 
volume as a picture of pioneer days. He well remembers when what is now 
Central Park, Decatur, was an unimproved forest. He has taken a sack of 
melons on horseback to Decatur at a time when the village could hardly have 
consumed so many. In those days a yoke of steers furnished the power for the 
carding mill that was being operated in the village and a charge at so much a 
pound was made for carding the wool. Mr. Hanks hauled the first load of brick 
to erect the piers of the Illinois Central Railroad and also helped to build the 
Wabash Railroad. In fact he was employed in some way or another in build- 
ing most of the roads of Decatur. In 1857 he learned the plasterer's trade under 
Nesbitt & Mayers and has worked on many of Decatur's buildings, its high 
school and other educational institutions. Since 1890 he has been living re- 
tired at his present place of residence, at No. 2107 North Union street. He first 
had two acres of land here but has since sold one acre. His home was the third 
house erected north of the railroad and he owns two houses at Nos. 241 and 
247 West Wood street, which he rents. He also has eighty acres of land on sec- 
tion 10, Hickory Point township. 

On the 2d of October, 1872, Mr. Hanks was married to Miss Martha Eme- 
line Hunter, and unto them were born four children : Ada, who died at the age 
of six years; one who died in infancy; Roy, who died in childhood; and Harry 
H., who in 1908 was married to Miss Edna Brown, a native of Canada. 

In politics Mr. Hanks is a republican and has always supported the party. 
He and his wife are members of the Central Church of Christ of Decatur. He 
now lives in honorable retirement at the age of seventy-five years. His life his- 
tory is not only of interest because of its close connection with pioneer events 
in Macon, county but also on account of the relation with the Lincoln family and 
their active association with the martyred president during the days of his early 
manhood and his pioneer struggles in Illinois. 



JOSEPH GREGORY. 



Joseph Gregory, of Pleasant View township, Macon county, is recognized 
by his neighbors and friends as one of the stanch men of central Illinois, who 
make no promises they do not fulfill and whose word may always be depended 
upon. Industrious, enterprising and energetic in a high degree, his success is 
the result of his own well directed efforts. He is public-spirited in all his deal- 
ings and while he enjoys a goodly measure of prosperity, he is also happy in the 
knowledge that others are also prosperous. Mr. Gregory is a native son of 
Illinois and was born on the farm where he now lives May 9, 1874. He is a 
son of Isaac and Delia (Moore) Gregory, the former of whom was born in 
Pennsylvania, November 6, 1834, and the latter in New Jersey in 1835. The 
father came to Illinois with his parents at six years of age. in 1840, the family 
settling in Sangamon county for twenty years and then locating permanently in 
Macon county. Here Isaac Gregory became a successful farmer and he and his 
estimable wife are now enjoying the results of many years of well applied in- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 217 

dustry. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Gregory, the subject of this 
review being the only one now living. He was two half-brothers, Isaac and 
Thomas Gregory, the former of whom makes his home in Sangamon county, 
Illinois, and the latter in Texas. 

George Gregory, the grandfather, a native of England, was one of the early 
pioneers of Sangamon county and one of its most respected citizens. In his 
early manhood he was an engineer in Philadelphia, being the first engineer who 
ever ran over the Mardosia now the Wabash Railroad. He attained a wide 
reputation in those times for his skill at the throttle, so that for four years dur- 
ing one period he worked seven days each week, never missing a Sunday. Later 
there was a general demand for his services in setting up sugar cane engines 
in different parts of the country. In 1854 he purchased one thousand 
acres of land in Macon county at seven dollars an acre. This transaction 
was regarded as a wonderful event by the early settlers, but the same 
land is now worth more than two hundred thousand dollars. He became a large 
landholder in Menard and Sangamon counties and also an extensive cattle dealer 
and feeder of live-stock. The scale on which he conducted his affairs may be 
understood when it is stated that at one time he drove five hundred and twenty 
hogs to the market at St. Louis, delivering them in a single consignment. The 
wife's name was Sarah Knowles. She came from England at his solicitation 
in order that they might be married. George Gregory departed this life in 1887 
and his remains were deposited in a cemetery at Springfield. The beloved wife 
was called away in 1893. 

Joseph Gregory was educated in the public schools of Decatur and Macon 
and remained upon the home farm with his parents until thirty years of age 
when he took unto himself a life companion. As a young man he began farming 
on his own account and as the years advanced and opportunity offered, he in- 
creased his landed property until at the present time he is the owner of three 
hundred and twenty acres in section 11, Pleasant View township. He lives in 
a comfortable home which was built by his father but has since been remodeled ' 
and thoroughly modernized. Upon the farm he has made many improvements 
among which is a barn forty-two by sixty feet in foundation area — one of the 
largest barns in the county. He is a general farmer and raises a great deal of 
live-stock which he sends to the market in such good condition that it usually 
commands the highest prices. 

On the 30th day of August, 1904, Mr. Gregory was united in marriage to 
Mrs. Bertha (Browning) Roach, who was born in Piatt county, Illinois, June 
12, 1876, a daughter of John and Catherine (Rand) Browning, the former of 
whom was born in Kentucky July 24, 1855, and the latter in Illinois, March 10, 
1858. The father came to Illinois at the age of six years and he and his wife 
are now respected residents of Atwood, Illinois. They were the parents of four 
children: Bertha, herein mentioned; Frank, of Decatur; Etta, a trained nurse 
now living in Decatur; and Olive, the wife of Ray Wright, of Decatur. The 
first husband of Mrs. Gregory was Albert Roach, a native of Cumberland county, 
Illinois, where he was born October 5, 1874. He became a clerk in a general 
store of an uncle at Lovington, Illinois, and was a young man of unusual busi- 
ness promise. He was called away February 13, 1900, and is buried at Loving- 



218 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

ton. Three children have come to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory: 
Helen, born July 18, 1905; Katherine, born December 13, 1906; and Dorothy, 
born June 22, 1909. These children were all born in the same house in which 
the father first saw the light of day. By her first marriage Mrs. Gregory was 
the mother of one child, Freda, born March 30, 1897. She is now attending 
school and also taking music lessons. Elijah Moore, an uncle of our subject, 
who in earlier days was prominent in Masonic circles at Springfield, Illinois, 
became a soldier for the Union and was killed at Fort Donelson. John Rand 
the grandfather of Mrs. Gregory, died form the effect of arduous service in the 
same war, and John and Mills Rand, uncles of Mrs. Gregory, were also valiant 
soldiers at the time the nation was in danger. 

Mr. Gregory ever since arriving at the age of manhood has been an adherent 
of the republican party. He is an earnest friend of education and at the present 
time is a school director. Fraternally he is connected with the Knights of Pythias 
and he has many friends in that great organization. He was exceedingly for- 
tunate in the selection of a wife who has been to him not only a loving help- 
mate but a safe adviser and intelligent companion, sharing in his joys and sor- 
rows and always willing to contribute her part in forwarding any worthy object. 
She is a valued member of the Lovington Christian church and in social affairs is a 
leader. Mr. Gregory by a useful life has endeared himself to those with whom 
he is associated and is a worthy representative of the family whose name is in- 
separably connected with the history of Illinois. 



JOHN H. MILLER. 

On the roll of Decatur's honored dead appears the name of John H. Miller, 
who in every relation of life bore himself with signal dignity and honor. His 
activity in public life contributed to the material development of Macon county, 
while his labors in his private business affairs added to his individual success. 
He was a lifelong resident of Macon county, for his birth occurred in Decatur, 
on the 8th of August, 1841, on the spot where the magnificent Pythian Home 
was recently erected. His youthful days were spent on the home farm, his par- 
ents being David and Martha Y. Miller. His education was acquired in the 
common schools, while his training at farm labor was received under the direc- 
tion of his father. 

He had reached mature years when the Civil war broke out and feeling that 
his first duty was to his country, about the time he attained his majority, on the 
7th of August, 1862, he enlisted for service at the front as a member of Company 
B, One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Infantry. This company was organized 
at Camp Macon in Decatur, which stood where Fairview Park is now located. 
Proceeding southward to Vicksburg, Mr. Miller participated in many of the 
most important battles of the war. He was in the battle of Arkansas Post and 
was with Grant during the forty days' siege at Vicksburg. He also participated 
in the battles of Missionary Ridge and Chattanooga, where his regiment 
was one of the first to cross the Chattanooga river on pontoons. In the 




JOHN H. MILLER 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 221 

battle of Lookout Mountain he was wounded in the side by a bullet. He was in 
the Atlanta campaign and also in the celebrated march to the sea, and on through 
the Carolinas to Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia, and at the close of hostilities 
took part in the grand review at Washington, D. C, when thousands of soldiers 
marched through the streets of that city and past the grand stand, where Presi- 
dent Lincoln stood watching the brave men who had preserved the Union. Al- 
though Mr. Miller enlisted as a private, he was later made second sergeant and 
at Young's Point was made second lieutenant, while later he was promoted to the 
rank of first lieutenant. While at the front he never faltered in the performance 
of any duty no matter where it called him, and after three years of faithful 
and valiant service he received an honorable discharge in the capital city in 
July, 1865. 

Following the close of hostilities, Mr. Miller returned to his home in Decatur 
and here on the 8th of November, 1866, he was united in marriage to Miss 
Charlotte J. Cox, who was born September 6, 1845. The young couple began 
their domestic life upon a farm near the city and as the years passed Mr. Miller 
added to his holdings until he became the possessor of several hundred acres of 
land. He was actively identified with general agricultural pursuits throughout 
a long period and his labors brought him a success that any man might be proud 
to possess. 

Unto John H. and Charlotte J. Miller were born six children : William D., 
who wedded Miss Carrie Jacobs; Martha Y., who is the wife of David Diller 
and resides in Albany, Texas; Ira B., now deceased; Ada L., who became the 
wife of S. H. Procter but is now deceased; Mary H., the wife of E. B. Johnson, 
a resident of Heyburn, Idaho ; and Minnie T., the wife of Dana F. Black, who is 
an extensive farmer of Macon county, residing a mile west of Elwin. After a 
happy married life covering about twelve years, Mr. and Mrs. Miller were sepa- 
rated by the death of the wife and mother on the 28th of January, 1879, her re- 
mains being interred in Mount Gilead cemetery south of the city. 

On the 28th of December, 1881, Mr. Miller was again married, his second 
union being with Mary J. Muirheid. She was born November 6, 1855, m Har- 
rison county, Missouri, and was a little maiden of eight years when she accom- 
panied her parents, William and Margaret J. Muirheid, on their removal from 
that state to Macon county, Illinois. They were prominent pioneers of this sec- 
tion of the state and with the exception of a brief period, spent their remaining 
days in this county. Mrs. Miller received a good public-school education and 
prior to her marriage taught in the home district. Mr. Miller continued on 
the farm after his second marriage but finally, his health becoming impaired, he 
purchased a home in Decatur and on the 24th of October, 1906, removed to this 
city, and after two and a half years of patient suffering, he passed away August 
31, 1908, in the faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, having for many 
years held membership at Shady Grove. 

Although leading a very busy life in connection with his private business 
affairs, Mr. Miller's zeal in behalf of beneficial public interests was perhaps the 
predominant feature in his life. He was a lifelong democrat and always took 
an active part in political affairs. For many years he was a tax collector of 
Macon county and held this office at the time the courthouse was erected in 



222 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Decatur, being a member of the building committee. He was also supervisor of 
the county for seventeen years and filled the office of school director for a num- 
ber of years. He was actuated by a spirit of loyalty to the welfare and progress 
of the community that none questioned, and his labors on the whole were ex- 
tremely effective, far-reaching and beneficial. He was likewise one of the organ- 
izers of White Post, No. 529, G. A. R., at Mount Zion, and for many years served 
as its commander. His name thus became indelibly impressed upon the pages 
of Macon county's history, and his memory is revered and honored by all who 
knew him. The widow still resides at the old home in Decatur and retains pos- 
session of the farm of two hundred and twenty acres, which is now being 
operated by the eldest son. 



ELI S. ULERY. 



Macon county, located in the center of Illinois, in one of the richest agri- 
cultural districts of the country, owes its high standing among the counties of 
the state to its farming and live-stock interests. Here these industries have been 
carried to a very high degree of perfection and here are seen many of the finest 
and most completely equipped farming establishments to be found anywhere in 
the world. Even the fondest dreams of the early settlers have been more than 
realized and to be a successful farmer of Macon county is synonymous with pros- 
perity and the possession of practically every advantage that is known in con- 
nection with modern agriculture. 

Among the prominent farmers of Macon county is Eli S. Ulery, a native of 
Mount Zion township, this county. He was born December 12, 1862, and is a 
son of Eli and Mary E. (Dillon) Ulery. His father was one of the remarkable 
pioneers of Illinois. He began with a capital of twelve dollars and became the 
owner of three thousand acres of rich Illinois soil. He was born in Washing- 
ton county, Pennsylvania, and came to Macon county in 1836, continuing here 
until his death, which occurred in December, 1898, when he was eighty-two years 
of age. He settled on two hundred and twenty acres and, being a man of great 
industry and foresight, he invested his money in land so that he became one of 
the large landholders of this part of the state. He was also a breeder of cattle 
and fattened a great deal of live stock for the market, driving to Chicago aind New 
York. Politically he was allied with the republican party. He had four broth- 
ers, all of whom continued in Pennsylvania and are now deceased. The mother 
of our subject was called away at the age of twenty-eight years. She was a 
daughter of Joshua Dillon, a stock-dealer and well known citizen of Mount Zion. 

Eli S. Ulery grew up upon his father's farm but was deprived of the loving 
presence of a mother, she having departed when he was three years old. He 
was educated in the common schools and at Christian Brothers College at St. 
Louis. After leaving college he went to Colorado and for four years lived the 
life of a cowboy in the region south of the Arkansas river where he gained many 
experiences that have proved of practical benefit to him in later years. He re- 
turned home at eighteen years of age and in 1886 took charge of the home farm 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 223 

which then consisted of six hundred and forty acres. There is no doubt that 
the talents of the parents are often inherited by their children, who are thus 
naturally endowed with abilities that are denied many others. An illustration 
of this fact is presented in the career of Mr. Ulery who is now the owner of nine 
hundred and ninety-eight acres and, like his father, has been successful in almost 
everything he has undertaken. About ten years ago he acquired a tract of land 
in the northern part of Mount Zion townshinp, a portion of which he has con- 
verted into a picnic and pleasure ground, known as Woodbine Park. Here he 
has built a bungalow and an artificial lake and has also erected a hotel, pavilion 
and boathouse and made many other improvements, so that the park is one of 
the most attractive pleasure spots of the country. He is also interested in a fish- 
ing pond a half-mile south of Mount Zion and is a great lover of hunting and 
fishing, making trips to various states of the south annually for this purpose. 

On the ioth day of March, 1885, Mr. Ulery was united in marriage to Miss 
Fannie Gibson Bell, a daughter of Andrew and Lucy Bell, of Mount Zion. Five 
children have come to brighten the household, Bernard B., Simon K., Mona G., 
Earl A., and Mary I. Mr. Ulery affiliates with the republican party but has 
never sought office, as his interest is mainly devoted to business affairs. He 
and his family are well known in Macon county, the name having been closely 
identified with this portion of the state for many years and no name stands 
highei in the respect of the people of central Illinois. 



HAROLD RIVES WOODCOCK. 

The financial interests of Macon county are represented by some of its 
brightest and most progressive citizens, among whom may be named Harold R. 
Woodcock, of Macon, now head of the banking firm established by his father and 
known under the title of R. H. Woodcock & Company. Mr. Woodcock was born 
in this county, June 6, 1871, and is a son of Robert H. and Frances J. (Rives) 
Woodcock, the former of whom was born August 30, 1835, in Pennsylvania, and 
the latter March 18, 1841, in Illinois. The grandparents on the paternal side were 
Edmund and Susanna (Funk) Woodcock, the former of whom was of English 
and the latter of German descent. Grandfather Woodcock came with his family 
to Illinois in 1849. Here he followed the wagon-maker's trade. He was the 
father of ten children, nine of whom grew to maturity. He died at Quincy, 
Illinois, in 1856, his esteemed wife long surviving him and passing away at the 
advanced age of ninety-five years. 

Robert H. Woodcock graduated from the Greene County Seminary, Illinois, 
at twenty-one years of age and become bookkeeper in a dry-goods store. In 
1862 he established a grocery store in Macon but sold out in 1865 and entered 
the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company as agent, continuing in 
this capacity for sixteen years. He was also agent for the American Express 
Company for eighteen years. After acquiring a competence he engaged in the 
banking business with H. Faling and subsequently purchased the interest of 
his partner and was engaged almost continuously in financial affairs until his 



224 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

death, which occurred May 30, 1909. He was one of the progressive and reliable 
men of the county and was highly esteemed by all with whom he came in contact. 
In politics he was a republican, serving as alderman of Macon for two years, 
mayor for one year and supervisor for fourteen years, one-half of which time he 
was chairman of the board. He was also actively connected with the Masonic 
order. On October 29, 1863, he married Miss Frances J. Rives, a daughter of 
Rev. James and Elizabeth (Hood) Rives, both of whom were from North 
Carolina. One child came to bless this union, Harold R. 

The subject of this review was educated in the public schools and took a 
complete course at Brown's Business College of Decatur, graduating in 1890. 
Previously he had served as bookkeeper in the Woodcock & Hight Bank of 
Macon and after leaving the business college he became cashier of the 
Heilman grocery house of Decatur. In 1891 he was made cashier of the R. H. 
Woodcock & Company Bank in Macon and later occupied a similar position in 
the First National Bank at Collinsville, Illinois. In July, 1902, he returned to 
Macon and associated with his father in the banking business of which he is 
now sole owner. He has shown an ability which indicates that he is a worthy 
successor of his father, who was an acknowledged authority in Macon county 
on subjects pertaining to finances. 

On the 25th of May, 1896, at Indianapolis, Mr. Woodcock was united in 
marriage to Miss Bertha R. Middleton, a daughter of John F. and Mary (Way) 
Middletown, natives of Canada, who came to Illinois about 1870. Mrs. Wood- 
cock is the youngest of a family of seven children and was born June 12, 1877. 
One child, Rives Way, born November 13, 1897, has come to brighten the 
household. 

Mr. Woodcock is politically in sympathy with the republican party and has 
served for two terms as chairman of the board of supervisors, also filling the 
office of town clerk of Macon. He is a past master of the Masonic lodge at 
Macon, and also holds membership in Beacon Lodge, No. 434, K. P. He has 
passed through all the chairs in the latter organization. In the discharge of his 
various duties he has shown a capacity that has met the hearty approval of those 
most interested. Reared under favorable circumstances, Mr. Woodcock has 
made successful application of the practical lessons he learned under his father 
and occupies an honorable position in the estimation of a host of friends in 
Macon county. 



ERNEST D. CAMP. 



Ernest D. Camp is the owner of a highly improved farm of one hundred 
and twenty acres on sections 23 and 24, Long Creek township, Macon county, 
of which he may well be proud as it is the result largely of his own industry and 
his earnest devotion to a calling to which he has given the chief energies of his 
life. It was through self-denial and perseverance and not a little sound judg- 
ment that he has been able to meet the difficulties that lay in the way, but now 
he may rest at ease and in comfort, knowing that he and his family are provided 
for during the remainder of their lives. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 225 

Mr. Camp was born in the township where he now lives, July 3, 1872. He 
is a son of Abel B. and Mary (Davis) Camp, the father born July 29, 1828, in 
Scott county, this state, and the mother born September 2, 1831. His paternal 
grandfather was born in Connecticut and when a young man went to Vermont, 
where he was married. About 1820 he brought his wife to Illinois and located 
in Scott county, where he entered land from the government. Our subject's 
maternal grandfather was Joseph Davis, who was a native of Kentucky, but his 
wife was born in North Carolina. They came to Illinois in 1828, locating first 
in Sangamon county but later removing to Long Creek township, Macon county, 
where he entered land from the government and purchased other tracts. 

Abel B. Camp, after arriving at years of manhood, selected one hundred and 
sixty acres of land on section 17, Long Creek township and proceeded to im- 
prove the same but later found a more desirable tract of one hundred and sixty 
acres on section 23 and disposed of the property he had previously acquired. 
He engaged in general farming and stock-raising with marked success and in 
the course of years became the owner of a well improved farm of four hundred 
and twenty-six acres. He and his wife lived retired for some years before their 
death, the mother being called away March 24, 1891, and her respected com- 
panion on November 1, 1900. They were worthy representatives of the pro- 
gressive and intelligent citizens of the county and their memory is revered by 
many old friends and acquaintances. 

Ernest D. Camp was educated in the district schools and before attaining his 
majority engaged in teaching school. He continued upon the home farm until 
he was twenty-one years of age, when he began farming for himself by renting 
land from his father, also receiving forty acres which his father bestowed as a 
gift when the son arrived at his majority. At his father's death in 1900, he 
inherited other land also and he purchased forty acres more in 1906. By applica- 
tion and good judgment Mr. Camp has been successful from the very beginning 
as a farmer and is now the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of valuable 
land, which he has provided with all modern improvements as to buildings, fenc- 
ing, drainage and trees. In addition to raising cereals he is devoting his atten- 
tion to the raising of fine stock, for which he usually receives the highest price 
quoted in the market for stock of its class. 

On August 19, 1896, Mr. Camp was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth M. 
Weaver, a daughter of George W. and Nora (Whaley) Weaver, of Long Creek 
township. The mother was a native of Ireland and the father was born in Glens 
Falls, New York. He came west to Macon county and later removed to De- 
catur, where he held a position in the machine shop of the Chambers, Bering 
& Quinlan Manufacturing Company. He is still living in that city, but his wife 
departed this life in 1888. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Camp has been brightened 
by the birth of two children: Chester B., born May 26, 1898; and Nora Mar- 
guerite, September 22, 1902. 

Mr. Camp affiliates with the republican party and, although he has not been 
a seeker for public office, he is now serving his second term as township clerk. 
He is a member of the Methodist church and has been recording steward and 
trustee for several years. He has always taken hold energetically of anything 
that attracted his interest and the neat and orderly appearance of his farm is 



226 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

evidence that he does his work well. He is a man of pleasing manners and 
readily makes friends, never giving up a friend without sufficient cause. He may 
be depended upon to do as he says and in all his acts he aims to keep in mind 
the simple teaching of the golden rule, which he has found to be a safe and sure 
guide in all affairs, great and small, of daily life. 



ROBERT E. GRAY. 



Robert E. Gray, with a law and loan office at No. 143 North Water street, 
Decatur, is well established in the business circles of the city as one whose 
ability justly entitles him to the liberal clientage which is accorded him in both 
departments of his business. A native of Fayette county, Illinois, he was born 
in i860 and is a grandson of Richard Gray, one of the pioneers of the state, 
who in 1834 became a resident of Coles county when the Indians were still 
numerous in that locality. The evidences of frontier life were many and it 
remained to a few courageous and venturesome men like Mr. Gray to penetrate 
the western wilderness and there plant the seeds of civilization. In 1854 he 
removed to Fayette county, Illinois, becoming one of the early settlers there. 
His son David P. Gray, the father of Robert E. Gray, was a carpenter and 
contractor for many years but afterward turned his attention to farming. He 
was born in Tennessee in 1833 and died in 1875 at the age of forty-two years. 
His wife, who was born in Illinois and was of Pennsylvania descent, passed 
away in 1872. In their family were seven children, four sons and three daughters, 
of whom three sons are yet living, the brothers of our subject being George W., 
a resident of Weldon; and Richard T., living in Oklahoma. 

Robert E. Gray, devoting his youthful days to the acquirement of an education, 
attended the high school at Ramsey, Illinois, and also the normal school at Carbon- 
dale, this state while later he pursued the teacher's course in the Northern Indiana 
Normal School at Valparaiso, where he was graduated with the class of 1892. 
In the interim he taught in the district schools in Dewitt, Fayette, Moultrie, Taze- 
well and Menard counties of Illinois and in South Dakota, demonstrating his 
ability in the work of the schoolroom by the clear and concise manner in which 
he imparted to others the knowledge that he had acquired. He continued teach- 
ing in all for about twelve years and during that time was principal of the Lane 
school for four terms. While engaged in teaching he devoted the hours which 
are usually termed leisure to the study of law and pursued his first year's law 
course at Valparaiso, Indiana. He read under the direction of the firm of 
Farmer & Brown of Vandalia and was graduated from the law department of 
the Northern Indiana Normal School with the class of 1896. 

Mr. Gray then opened his office in Decatur and in the intervening period of 
fourteen years has continued a practitioner at the bar of this city. He has also 
engaged in negotiating and placing loans and has secured a good clientage in 
both departments of his business. His ability as a practitioner before the bar 
is continually increasing as the result of his broadening experience and his close 
and discriminating study. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 227 

Moreover, he is recognized as one of the prominent political leaders in the 
democratic party in Macon county. While in Fayette county he was a delegate 
to the state conventions. He has served as chairman of the first precinct and 
of the first ward committee in Decatur and has been a delegate to the state 
conventions of his party. He likewise attended the convention in Denver in 1908, 
but was not a delegate. He is regarded, however, as one of the local leaders of 
his party and his opinions carry weight in its councils. He does not seek nor 
desire office for himself, preferring to concentrate his energies upon other and 
private business interests, but does all in his power to secure the election of the 
candidates which represent the principles in which he believes. He belongs 
to the Bar Association and to the Modern Woodmen camp and not only in 
professional and fraternal but also in social circles has many warm friends 
who entertain for him high and enduring regard. 



WILLIAM L. ALLEN. 



William L. Allen is well known in the commercial circles of Decatur, where 
he is engaged in the retail grocery business, conducting one of the handsomely 
appointed and well stocked grocery stores of the city. In its management he 
displays excellent business ability and keen discernment and his carefully di- 
rected labors are bringing to him continued success. 

He is one of Decatur's native sons, born October 21, 1861, on what is now 
the site of his present handsome residence at No. 1650 East William street. He 
is a son of Samuel C. Allen, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume. 
He acquired his education in the public schools, passing through consecutive 
grades until he became a high school student. When nineteen years of age he 
entered business circles, becoming associated with W. H. Strong in a mercantile 
enterprise at Morrisonville. Subsequently he returned to Decatur, where he 
engaged in clerking for a number of years. He afterward established and con- 
ducted a retail grocery house at No. 1502 East William street, carrying on busi- 
ness there for eight years, at the end of which time he sold his interest but after 
a few years' retirement again became a partner in the same store. He conducts 
a first-class grocery house, having a well established trade and carrying an ex- 
tensive line of staple and fancy groceries. This location has long been occu- 
pied as a grocery store at 1502 to 1508 East William street. The business policy 
employed is one which commends the house to public patronage. The methods 
of trade are strictly reliable and courteous treatment is demanded on the part 
of all employes toward the customers. In 1908 Mr. Allen was honored by elec- 
tion to the presidency of the Retail Grocers Association, which position he held 
for two years. 

On the 6th of June, 1883, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Allen and Miss 
Mary A. Sanders, of Sangamon county, Illinois. Their children are: Guy F., 
a draftsman with the Decatur Bridge Company, who married Miss Anna L. 
Bigelow and resides at No. 1745 East Eldorado street; Roy O, who 
is employed in the signal department of the Wabash Railroad Company; and 



228 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Emma J., who is now a senior in the Decatur high school. In the fall of 1909 
Mr. Allen began the erection of a most attractive and beautiful modern home 
built after his own plans, and the family took possession thereof on the 2d of 
February, 1910. It is heated with hot water and supplied with all modern con- 
veniences and would be a credit to' a city of much larger size than Decatur. 

Mr. Allen belongs to Ionic Lodge, No. 312, A. F. & A. M., of which he is a 
junior warden, and he is also chief of Decatur Court, No. 243, of the Tribe of 
Ben Hur. In matters of citizenship he is progressive and public-spirited, giving 
active support to every movement and measure which he deems of benfit in the 
upbuilding and improvement of the city. He has won favor in social as well 
as business circles and is held in high esteem throughout Decatur. Whatever 
he undertakes he carries forward to successful completion and his energy and 
determination enable him to overcome obstacles which would utterly dishearten 
and discourage others. In manner he is unaffected, genial and sincere and his 
many stering qualities have commended him to the confidence of those whom 
he meets in social and business relations. 



SAMUEL KING SHAFFER. 

Among those who have had influence in the moral and religious development 
of Decatur, Samuel King Shaffer is numbered. For more than thirty years 
he was a leading member of the Methodist church and his influence and aid were 
always cast on the side of progress, improvement, justice and truth. Ohio 
claimed him among her native sons, his birth having occurred at Bucyrus on the 
4th of January, 183 1. He was a son of George Shaffer, who served his country 
as a soldier of the American army in the war of 1812 for two years. By occupa- 
tion he was a farmer and owned and cultivated several hundred acres of land. 

When a very small boy Samuel King Shaffer was taken by his parents to 
Bellefontaine, Ohio, where he resided for a number of years, acquiring his 
education in that city and in the schools of Logan county, Ohio. He continued 
a resident of his native state until 1853, when at the age of twenty-two years he 
sought a home in Illinois, thinking that he might have better business opportunities 
in a less thickly settled district. Accordingly he came to Macon county and took 
up his abode in Decatur, where he resided until his death, which occurred on the 
22d of December, 1891, in the house which his widow now occupies. He 
was for forty years engaged in the real-estate business in Decatur and was a 
leading representative of that field of industry. He was thoroughly informed 
concerning property values, knew what was upon the market and negotiated many 
important realty transfers. So long and prominently was he connected with 
the real-estate business that his opinions came to be accepted as authority upon 
any important question relating to real estate. 

Mr. Shaffer was united in marriage upon the 21st of June, 1859, to Miss 
Erie M. Shaffer, of Chesterville, Ohio, a daughter of Tobias Shaffer, and follow- 
ing their marriage the young husband brought his bride at once to Decatur, where 
the family home has since been maintained. Unto them were born nine children : 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 231 

Maria and Margaret, who died in infancy; Frank G., who married Miss Lucy 
Walker, of West Virginia, and now has one child Marie ; D. H., who died in his 
sixteenth year ; Richard T., who married Lulu E. Huff, of this city, and has two 
children, Leta May and Ralph ; one who died in infancy ; Charles H. who died 
when thirty-five years old; Guy T., who resided at home with his mother; and 
Vallie F., the wife of Edward McCune, by whom she has two children, Charles 
Spencer and Eunice M. 

Mr. Shaffer belonged to no secret associations but was for more than thirty 
years a leading and influential member of the Methodist church of Decatur, ever 
loyal and faithful to its teachings, active in its work and generous in its sup- 
port. His political allegiance was given to the republican party but while he 
believed firmly in its principles he did not seek nor desire office as a reward for 
party fealty. In business he was ever reliable and trustworthy and his success 
was attributable entirely to his own efforts. His real-estate operations enabled 
him to make judicious investments and from time to time he purchased property 
that enabled him to leave his widow in very comfortable financial circumstances 
when, on the 22d of December, 1891, he was called to his final rest. Mrs. Shaffer 
is very widely known in Decatur, where she has an extensive circle of friends. 
In addition to the home at No. 604 West North street, which he has now occupied 
for a number of years, she owns considerable other property here and from her 
realty holdings derives a substantial and gratifying annual income. 



SCOTT CANNON. 



Among the farmers of Macon county now deceased may be named Scott 
Cannon, who was called from earthly scenes February 6, 1892. He was for 
forty-four years an important factor in the agricultural development of the 
country and attained marked success not only in his farming operations but as 
an influential citizen, attracting many friends and ably contributing toward build- 
ing up the best interests of the region with which he was so long identified. 

He was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, March 18, 1839, and was a son of 
Byron and Sarah Cannon. In 1848 the family came to Macon county, driving 
through with teams as there were few railroads in the country in those days. 
The father settled on a farm, where he continued until his death, leaving a 
widow and seven children, the subject of this review having arrived at an age 
when he could assist materially in the support of the family. Under the circum- 
stances it was possible for him to receive but a limited school education although 
in after years by reading and observation he largely overcame this deficiency. 
At twenty-one years of age he bought forty acres of land, on which he built a 
residence, later occupying a commodious modern building. By industry, econ- 
omy and good management he was able to purchase more land until his farm 
embraced one hundred and twenty acres, for which he paid as much as forty 
dollars an acre. The family also owns a tract of eighty acres in Blue Mound 
township which belonged to the father of our subject. Mr. Cannon greatly im- 
proved the farm by the erection of buildings, fences and other structures and 



232 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

by setting out an orchard and shade and ornamental trees. At his death his 
remains were interred in Long Point cemetery. 

On December 29, 1870, Mr. Cannon was united in marriage in Blue Mound 
township to Miss Lucy J. Hall, who was born in Macon county, November 12, 
1849, a daughter of James and Frances (Blankinship) Hall. Her father was 
born January 16, 1818, in Robertson county, Tennessee, and came to Illinois in 
his boyhood. The mother was a native of Rutherford county, Tennessee, and 
came to this state with her parents early in her life. Four children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Cannon: Edward, who died in infancy; Emily, now at home 
with her mother ; Lillie, who maried Dr. Henry M. Newkirk and lives in Harris- 
town, this county, and has three children, Bruce Cannon, Garth Galen and Mar- 
garet Frances ; and Velma Bruce, who received a good education and is now 
bookkeeper for the Electric Light & Railway Company at Decatur, Illinois. 

Mr. Cannon was in sympathy with the democratic party but he never asked 
nor desired public office. His interests were centered in his family and his busi- 
ness, although as a patriotic citizen he responded heartily to every worthy enter- 
prise. In his wife he found a sympathetic companion, who was to him a con- 
stant support and encouragement during the twenty-two years of their married 
life. Mrs. Cannon continued to live on the family homestead until 1894, when 
she removed to Harristown, where she now lives. 



SAMUEL C. ALLEN. 



Samuel C. Allen left the impress of his individuality upon the public life of 
Macon county in many ways. He was a prominent factor in business circles 
in an early day, held a number of local offices and was also a factor in the moral 
progress of the community. His many sterling traits of character gained him 
high place in the regard and confidence of his fellowmen and no history of the 
pioneer development of the county would be complete without mention of 
Samuel C. Allen. 

He was born October 3, 1810, in Loudoun county, Virginia, ten miles south 
of Leesburg, and was a son of James and Elizabeth (Lee) Allen. The Allen 
family is of Irish origin. The great-grandfather, Robert Allen, lived in County 
Antrim, Ireland, and died at the venerable age of ninety-four years. His wife, 
who bore the maiden name of Janet Hair, died in the city of Larne, Ireland, at 
the age of seventy-five years. Robert Allen was a farmer by occupation and 
the old homestead on which he lived is still in possession of his descendents. He 
was also a man of considerable influence in the community and served as a ruling 
elder in the Presbyterian church. Unto him and his wife were born twenty- 
four children, eighteen of whom reached adult age and one of the number be- 
came the grandfather of Samuel C. Allen of this review. He was born on the 
Emerald isle, and, coming to America at the age of sixteen years, lived with a 
Quaker family in New Jersey. He, too, followed the occupation of farming 
as a life work. He died in 1799 at the age of eighty-four years. He had four 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 233 

sons who were soldiers of the Revolutionary war, of whom one was killed, while 
two others died in service. 

The maternal grandfather of Samuel C. Allen was David Lee, who was of 
Scotch descent and lived in New Jersey until 1775, when he removed to Vir- 
ginia. He married a French lady and their daughter Elizabeth was born in 
New Jersey but was reared in Virginia, where she gave her hand in marriage to 
James Allen, who was born in the Old Dominion and became a farmer of that 
state. Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. James Allen settled in Loudoun 
county, Virginia, and as the years passed the following children were added to 
their family, namely: William, David L., Samuel, James, Samuel C, Lemuel, 
Margaret, Sarah, Mary, Teresa, Jane, Elizabeth, and one who died in infancy. 
The father of this family passed away in Loudoun county in 1845. 

Upon the home farm in his native state Samuel C. Allen was reared and after 
attaining adult years managed the place for a time. On the 3d of October, 
1831, however, he left the Old Dominion and on horseback traveled through 
Ohio and Tennessee. The following year he came to Macon county, Illinois, 
where his brother David had secured the first deed ever made out for land in 
this county. This brother, Captain David L. Allen, was a prominent figure in 
the history of Decatur. He gave Central Park to the city and also the lot on 
which the Citizens Bank now stands was deeded to the city as a site for a school- 
house. He did more than any other citizen of an early day for the development 
and substantial upbuilding of Decatur and the county and his memory should 
ever be honored by the residents of the city who are now benefiting by his gener- 
osity and public spirit. 

On reaching Macon county Samuel C. Allen purchased two hundred and 
forty acres of land, a part of which has since been platted and divided into city 
lots, lying within the corporation limits of Decatur. For a few years after his 
arrival he operated a gristmill belonging to his brother David, which was the 
second mill erected in the county and the only one in operation. In 1841 he 
was appointed postmaster and after the expiration of his term of office he de- 
voted his time to farming and clerking until 1850, when he embarked in mer- 
chandising, which he followed for five years. At different times he was called 
to positions of public honor and trust. Before he engaged in merchandising he 
had served as assessor and later filled the office of county treasurer for four 
years, proving a most capable custodian of the public funds. In politics he was 
always a stalwart republican and did all in his power to promote the growth and 
secure the success of the party. He was also deeply interested in the moral 
welfare and progress of the community and for more than half a century was 
a consistent and helpful member of the Baptist church, with which he united 
during the early period of its existence. 

In December, 1858, Mr. Allen went to Adams county, Ohio, and there mar- 
ried Mrs. Jane E. Reid, the widow of Minor Reid. She was born in Virginia 
and was a daughter of Enos and Mary (Davis) Gore, who were likewise natives 
of the Old Dominion. With his bride Mr. Allen returned to Macon county and 
they began their domestic life upon the farm. Their son, Edwin G., is a promi- 
nent business man of Decatur, at the head of the Allen Elevator Company. He 
has traveled extensively, gaining thereby the knowledge and culture which only 



234 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

travel can bring. He married Miss Minnie Sine and they have a family. Will- 
iam L., the second son, is mentioned elsewhere in this volume. Orville R., a 
graduate of Rush Medical college and now engaged in the practice of medicine 
at Stanwood, Washington, married Mamie Stockbridge. Milton died at the age 
of three years and Frank D. died in 1898. 

After leaving the office of county treasurer Mr. Allen engaged in farming 
until the death of his wife, who passed away in June, 1880, at the age of fifty- 
three years. She was a consistent member of the Methodist church and her 
many excellent qualities gained for her the kindly regard and warm friendship 
of all who knew her. Mr. Allen afterward retired from active business and 
lived with his son Edwin until his death, which occurred on the 3d of January, 
1899, when he was in the eighty-ninth year of his age. 

He was not only one of the venerable citizens of Decatur but one of its oldest 
residents in years of continuous connection with the city. When he came to 
Macon county Decatur was a little frontier village containing not more than a 
dozen families. Wolves came from the timber and could be heard howling at 
night. Wild deer were plentiful and venison was a frequent dish upon the pio- 
neer tables, but the deep snow of 1830 and the very severe weather of that winter 
killed many. The first white settlers in the county were two brothers of the 
name of Lorton from St. Joseph, Michigan. They were Indian traders and did 
a thriving business until the red men ceased visiting this part of the country 
save in small numbers. The first real pioneer was the hunter and trapper, Will- 
iam Donning, who came from Vandalia in the fall of 1820 and built a log cabin 
near the site of the home of Captain D. L. Allen, brother of Samuel C. Allen. 
That cabin whs the first building erected for a residence within the limits of 
the county. In 1824 Donning sold out to John Ward. The first permanent 
settler was Leonard Stevens, Sr., who built a log house in 1821, three miles 
north of Decatur. A decade later Samuel C. Allen arrived and with the history 
of Macon county was closely identified from that period until his demise. He 
was public-spirited and took an active and helpful interest in everything per- 
taining to the progress and welfare of the community and bore an important 
part in shaping the early history and substantial development of the city and 
county. He was an interested witness of the changes which occurred and bore 
his full share in the work of general transformation brought about through the 
settlement of the county and the development of its business activities and pub- 
lic interests. 



JOSEPH C. RORK. 



Some men are born with a natural business sagacity and from the very be- 
ginning of their active career they exercise a cool and clear judgment which 
leads to constantly growing financial success. They make no serious blunders 
and seem to be naturally endowed with a capacity which the ordinary man may 
in some degree acquire by years of close observation and application, although 
in his case its application is by no means infallible and he never gains the facility 
of his more liberally endowed fellow. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 235 

Joseph C. Rork, whose name stands at the head of this review, apparently 
belongs to the former class. A large land owner, he has met with marked suc- 
cess in other lines and it today one of the enterprising and substantial citizens 
of Macon county. Born on a farm near Boody, Illinois, April 20, 1859, he is 
the son of Joseph and Ellen E. (Murray) Rork, both of whom were natives of 
Ireland, the father being born in 1823 and the mother in 1816. Coming to 
America, they were married in New York in 1851. In 1857 they located in Ken- 
tucky but the year following they settled permanently on a farm near Boody in 
Macon county. About 1865 Mr. Rork sold his farm and located in Long Creek 
township on a tract of forty acres of land in section 29. Ultimately he became 
the owner of a beautiful farm of five hundred and ninety acres which he brought 
to a high state of cultivation. He was a prominent feeder of cattle and hogs, 
and although he started with practically no resources, except those that were in- 
herent within himself and the sympathy and cooperation of his wife, he became 
one of the most successful farmers in this part of the county. Mr. Rork was 
called to his last rest November 5, 1893, and his beloved fcompanion departed 
this life December 2, 1900 They were the parents of three childrrn : Curtis W., 
a record of whom appears elsewhere in this work ; Joseph C, of this review ; 
and Mrs. Elizabeth Foley, who died September 1, 1891. 

Joseph C. Rork received his education in the common schools and at eighteen 
years of age began devoting his attention to the farm, assisting his father and 
giving evidence, even when quite a young man, of special aptitude for agricul- 
tural pursuits. At twenty-six years of age he began operations for himself on 
the family estate, including the home place, and he has ever since followed gen- 
eral farming and live-stock raising and has been a prominent factor in advancing 
the farming interests of the county. In addition to his farm of two hundred and 
forty acres he rents one hundred and ten acres in the neighborhood from a niece 
and keeps about one hundred and sixty acres in cereals, the remainder of the 
farm being used as pasture. He erected a beautiful home which is provided 
with modern improvements and is one of the most attractive residences in the 
township. For a number of years he bought and sold land and at one time 
owned eight hundred acres of valuable land in this county. He is the owner 
of a thousand acre cattle ranch and rice plantation four miles from Eunice, 
Louisiana, and is also interested in coal mines at Lovington, this state, which are 
now being developed, and is president of the Farmers Insurance Company. 

On September 9, 1884, Mr. Rork was united in marriage to Miss Lizzie 
Dunn, a daughter of William and Annie (Dempsey) Dunn, of Mount Zion town- 
ship, this county. The parents are both natives of Ireland and were early set- 
tlers of Macon county where Mr. Dunn attained a high standing as a farmer. 
Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rork: William, born July 7, 1886; and 
Frank, born September 27, 1887, and both sons are now living on the home farm. 
Mrs. Rork was called away February 16, 1889, and Mr. Rork was a second time 
married, February 23, 1893, the lady of his choice being Miss Lizzie Breene, a 
daughter of Patrick and Mary (Gill) Breene. Mrs Rork's parents were born 
in Ireland and have been residents of this county since early in the '40s. There 
were five children by the second marriage: Everett, born February 16, 1895; 



236 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Wayne, born February 27, 1901 ; a son who died in infancy ; Mary Ellen ; and 
Madonna. 

Mr. Rork is a member of the Catholic church and is an adherent of the re- 
publican party. He is a man of large capacity and sound discernment, always 
kindly in his relations to others and fair in his business dealings. He is recog- 
nized as a member of society who has contributed to its best and endurng in- 
terests by the example he has set, and, therefore, he enjoys in a high degree the 
sincere respect and increasing confidence of all who know him. 



WILLIAM ADDISON HOLMAN. 

This is preeminently an age of organization and cooperation. Men are bound 
together for mutual good, whether in the promotion of business affairs or of 
social or fraternal relation. William Addison Holman is a prominent represen- 
tative of fraternal insurance interests, being supreme vice president of the Loyal 
Americans. He was born in Ross county, Ohio, September 4, 1844, and is a 
son of Martin and Ferly (May) Holman. The father, who was also born in 
Ross county, Ohio, was a farmer and moved westward to Macon county, Illi- 
nois, in 1865, settling north of Decatur on the Bloomington road in Hickory 
Point township. There he rented land which he cultivated for two years, after 
which he purchased an improved farm of eighty acres on section 26, Hickory 
Point township. There he made his home and greatly improved and developed 
the farm which he converted into highly cultivated fields. At different times 
he was called upon to serve his township in various offices, the duties of which 
he faithfully and promptly discharged. His death, which occurred October 22, 
1886, was most unexpected and was the occasion of deep loss in the community 
where he was uniformly esteemed and respected. He was a devoted member 
o fthe Universalist church and his labors were an effective element in the 
growth and upbuilding of the organization. His widow survived him for some 
time and died in Louisiana when more than fifty-three years of age. In their 
family were nine children, seven sons and two daughters, and seven of the num- 
ber reached years of maturnity, but the daughters, Mrs. Sabrina Delahunt and 
Mrs. Eva Samuels, are both now deceased. The living sons are William A.; 
Albert, a resident of Iowa; David, who is living south of Oreana, in this county; 
and Carey L., a resident farmer of Whitmore township. 

William A. Holman pursued his early education in the district schools of 
his native county and afterward had the benefit of instruction in a business col- 
lege, thus qualifying him for the solution of the problems which are continuously 
arising in connection with business transactions. At the age of twenty-one 
years he began farming on his own account in Hickory Point township and fol- 
lowed that pursuit continuously and successfully until 1888. The appreciation 
of his worth and ability on the part of his fellow townsmen has led to his selec- 
tion for various offices. He was deputy assessor for a number of years and 
from 1903 until 1908 was overseer of the poor. He has also served as assessor 
for one year and for a considerable period has been a member of the board of 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 237 

supervisors. He acted as chairman of that board in 1908. He has been a mem- 
ber of the board of review of Macon county and in 1910 he was elected presi-> 
dent of the state association of supervisors, county commissioners and county 
clerks. The object of this association is the creation of a better feeling among 
officers of the various counties and the promotion of the welfare of the officers 
by such legislation as in their judgment will be for the better conduct of county 
government. Mr. Holman has served as committeeman of the republican party 
and has been a delegate to various county, state and congressional conventions. 
He has twice represented the first ward as a member of the board of city alder- 
men and at all times has exercised his official prerogatives in support of such 
measures as he deems of value and benefit in the scheme of public government 
and municipal and county progress. 

In 1885 Mr. Holman was married in Macon county to Miss Carrie Ford, 
a native of Ohio, and they have a large circle of friends in Decatur where 
the hospitality of many homes is cordially extended them. Mr. Holman be- 
longs to Macon Lodge, No. 8, A. F. & A. M. He gives most of his time, how- 
ever, to the Loyal Americans, of which he is supreme vice president. This or- 
ganization has a membership of thirty thousand and business is carried on in 
twenty-six different states. Much of this is done under the direct supervision 
of Mr. Holman who has been a factor in carefully systematizing the work of 
the order, in accomplishing substantial results and increasing its membership. 



ANDREW J. SHOEMAKER. 

Andrew J. Shoemaker, the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and twenty 
acres in Maroa township, is busily engaged in its cultivation and also devotes 
considerable attention to the raising of stock. His birth occurred in Scioto, Ohio, 
in 1862, his parents being Jacob and Parmelia (Dever) Shoemaker, who were 
born, reared and married in the Buckeye state. The father was born in 1823, 
while the mother's birth occurred in 1833. Jacob Shoemaker who devoted his 
attention to general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career, 
is now living retired in Scioto county, Ohio. His property holdings embrace a 
tract of forty acres of rich and productive land. At the time of the Civil war 
he enlisted in an Ohio regiment, fighting valiantly in defense of the Union cause. 
Unto him and his wife were born eleven children: Andrew J., Sarah, Abraham, 
Eliza and Jasper, all living; and John, George, Dora, Joseph, Ida and Minnie, 
all deceased. 

Andrew J. Shoemaker acquired his education in the schools of his native 
state after putting aside his text-books worked on his father's farm. He was 
employed at farm labor in Ohio until about 1888, when he came direct to Macon 
county, Illinois, here working as a farm hand by the month for four years. Dur- 
ing the following ten years he was engaged in the cultivation of rented land and 
subsequently purchased a tract of forty acres northeast of his present farm, re- 
siding thereon for eight years. On the expiration of that period he disposed of 
the property and bought the farm on which he now makes his home. It com- 



238 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

prises one hundred and twenty acres of land in Maroa township and is well im- 
proved in every particular. In addition to cultivating the cereals best adapted 
to soil and climate Mr. Shoemaker also raises stock and in both branches of his 
business has won success. 

In 1888 Mr. Shoemaker was united in marriage to Miss Generva Grady, a 
daughter of Joseph and Isabella Grady, who were natives of Pennsylvania and 
came to this state at an early day. The father passed away in 1905 but the 
mother still survives. Unto them were born eight children, four of whom have 
passed away. Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker have three children, namely: Jonr^, 
whose birth occurred in 1889; Emma, who was born in 1897; and Oma, born in 
1905. 

In politics Mr. Shoemaker is a republican, supporting the men and measures 
of that party by his ballot. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of 
Pythias at Maroa. In all his business dealings he has been found strictly re- 
liable, has never been remiss in the duties of citizenship and has always followed 
high ideals concerning his relations with his fellowmen. 



HENRY D. HEIL, M. D. 

For twenty-three years Dr. Henry D. Heil has engaged in the practice of 
medicine in Decatur. Early in his professional career his ability won him rec- 
ognition as one of the leading members of the medical fraternity in this city, 
and as time has passed, his reputation has spread until he is now ranked with 
the able physicians of central Illinois. From no professional man do we ex- 
pect or exact so many of the cardinal virtues as from the physician. If the 
clergyman is austere, we imagine that his mind is absorbed with the contem- 
plation of things beyond our ken; if our lawyer is brusk and crabbed, it is the 
mark of genius; but in the physician we expect not only a superior mentality 
and comprehensive knowledge, but also sympathy as wide as the universe. 
Dr. Heil in large measure meets all of these requirements, and is regarded by 
many as an ideal physician. Certainly if patronage is any criterion of ability, 
he ranks high among the leading members of the medical fraternity in De- 
catur, where he is now enjoying a large and lucrative practice. He is num- 
bered among the worthy native sons of Decatur, his birth having here oc- 
curred in the year 1858. 

His father, William Heil, was born at Obertzell, Germany, in 1820, and 
devoted his life to the occupation of farming. His mother, who bore the 
maiden name of Catherine Dinkel, was born in Germany in 1826. They be- 
came acquainted in the new world and were married in Harrisburg, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1854. The father came to America in 1847 an d the mother arrived 
in 1852. Following their marriage they removed westward to Macon county, 
Illinois, where Mr. Heil purchased land, and here he and his wife spent their 
remaining days, his death occurring in 1872, while his widow passed away in 
1885. In their family were seven children: Henry, William, George, Almina, 
Julia, Mary and Matilda, all of whom are now living, with the exception of 
Mary, who died in Macon county in 1895. 




DR. HENRY D. HEIL 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 241 

Dr. Henry D. Heil obtained his early education in the graded and high 
schools and afterward pursued a college course. After completing his more 
specifically literary education, he spent three years in Rush Medical College, 
from which institution he was graduated with honors in 1887. He has also 
pursued post-graduate courses in Rush Medical College and at Berlin, Ger- 
many. On the 13th of March, 1887, he located for practice at Decatur, which 
city has since been the scene of his professional labors. He has proven well 
able to cope with the intricate problems which continually confront the physi- 
cian in his efforts to restore health and prolong life, and justly merits the 
extensive practice which is accorded him. His suite of rooms is in the Masonic 
block. 

As a companion and helpmate on the journey of life Dr. Heil chose Miss 
Mary Jane Bills, by whom he has three sons, Henry, George and John. On 
the maternal side she is descended from the early Pilgrims. Her father was 
a prominent farmer of this county, but was later engaged in mercantile busi- 
ness, and is now living retired in Decatur. Coming here at an early day, 
her great-grandfather entered three sections of land two and a half miles from 
Decatur, and some of this property is still in possession of the family. 

Dr. Heil is a worthy exemplar of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to 
Macon Lodge, A. F. & A. M. He holds to high standards in his practice and 
continually promotes his efficiency by reading and investigation, so that he is 
a physician of liberal knowledge and broad experience. Moreover, he is a self- 
made man, his industry and ability constituting the measure of his advance- 
ment. He is a splendid representative of the most advanced scientific prin- 
ciples bearing upon his chosen life work. His research has kept him in touch 
with the progress of the profession ; his perusal of medical journals and of 
the latest published work of medicine and surgery give him comprehensive un- 
derstanding of what is being done by eminent representatives of the profession 
throughout the world. Moreover, his sound judgment enables him to quickly 
determine the value of any idea presented, and if he has reason to believe in 
its efficacy, he adopts it for immediate use in his professional service. The 
consensus of public opinion places him in a leading position in the ranks of 
the medical profession in central Illinois, and his ability certainly finds its proof 
in the large practice that is accorded him. 



BRADFORD K. DURFEE. 

The problems of finance and intricate business questions find ready solution 
with Bradford K. Durfee, whose ability and broad experience well qualify him 
for the successful conduct of the business enterprises with which he is now 
connected. He is one of the oldest and most prominent representatives of real 
estate, loans and insurance in Decatur and is now the secretary of the Mutual 
Home and Savings Association. 

His birth occurred in Marshall, Michigan, on the 25th of March, 1838. He 
is a son of Nathan and Margaret (Kirk) Durfee and is a descendent in the 



242 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

seventh generation of Thomas Durfee, the progenitor of the family in the new 
world. From his native land of England Thomas Durfee sailed to the new 
world, settling in Tiverton, Rhode Island, about 1662. From him the line of 
descent is traced down to Nathan Durfee, whose birth occurred near Fall River, 
Massachusetts, and who in his boyhood days accompanied his parents on their 
westward removal to Ohio. In that state the period of his youth was passed, 
his time largely being spent in Cleveland. He was married in 1837 to Miss 
Margaret Kirk and soon afterward started with his young wife for Michigan, 
their home being established in the town of Marshall, where the birth of Brad- 
ford K. Durfee, their eldest child, occurred. The father was proprietor of a 
furniture store in Marshall, where he resided until he sought a broader field of 
labor in the larger city of Battle Creek. He also conducted a furniture store 
there and later had a similar enterprise in Hastings, Michigan. The year 1857 
witnessed his arrival in Macon county, where he established his home on the 3d 
of September, here remaining until his patriotic spirit, aroused by the attempt 
of the south to overthrow the Union, prompted his enlistment in the Civil war 
and he joined an Ohio regiment of which his brother, B. R. Durfee, was colonel. 
Previous to the outbreak of hostilities he had stanchly espoused the abolition 
cause. 

Bradford K. Durfee was a pupil in the public schools of Battle Creek, Michi- 
gan, and following the removal of the family to Decatur on the 3d of September, 
1857, he became a teacher in the district schools, following that profession 
through three winter terms. At that time he made his home on the old Durfee 
farm in Hickory Point township. The place, located northeast of Decatur, com- 
prised one hundred and sixty acres. Soon after locating there his father planted 
walnuts and from the tender shoots there have grown fine large trees. Brad- 
ford K. Durfee remained on the farm until the spring of 1863, when he came 
to Decatur, and entered the office of his uncle, H. B. Durfee. While in that 
office he prepared a set of abstracts of titles of Macon county and developed a 
system of abstract books, of which system a large number of copyrights were 
disposed of. Through his work in this connection he became familiar with the 
history of real-estate transactions in Macon county as far back as 1829 — the be- 
ginning of history here. In 1865 he was admitted to the firm of Durfee, War- 
ren & Company and subsequent changes in the firm led to the adoption of the 
style of Warren & Durfee, at which time Bradford K. Durfee was associated 
with John K. Warren in the conduct of the real-estate and insurance business. 
This connection was maintained successfully until 1893 and they operated ex- 
tensively and successfully in the field of real estate, negotiating many of the 
most important property transfers that have been made in the city. 

In the meantime, in 1879, Mr. Durfee secured the re-enactment of the 
law for the establishment of building and loan associations in Illinois. At that 
time it was thought unconstitutional but the law passed, finding a place on the 
statute books of the state. The opposition thereto seems ludicrous at the present 
time, when the conduct of building and loan associations is considered an im- 
portant and indispensable element in the substantial upbuilding of any city. In 
political circles Mr. Durfee also became connected with Decatur's welfare, hav- 
ing in 1884 been elected a member of the city council for a two years' term. On 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 243 

the dissolution of the real-estate firm of Warren & Durfee in 1893, Mr. Durfee 
in January of that year accepted the appointment of commissioner to the 
Northern penitentiary of Joliet, Illinois. In July of the same year he resigned 
to accept an appointment as insurance superintendent of the state of Illinois 
and served until May 5, 1897. In 1907 he went upon the road as traveling rep- 
resentative of insurance companies, spending a year and a half in Pueblo, Colo- 
rado, and making annual visits to the city of Milwaukee, where he did auditing 
work. He is now the secretary of the Mutual Home & Savings Association of 
Decatur. He came in charge when the association was a failure and has re- 
deemed it. He has reorganized and enlarged it, placing it upon a sound financial 
basis, and while it does not attempt to offer the big returns formerly common to 
building and loan associations, it does assure a safe and excellent investment 
for both the workingman and the capitalist and provides a convenient and satis- 
factory loan for the borrower. The present officers are: W. C. Outten, presi- 
dent; George R. Bacon, vice president; B. K. Durfee, secretary; and James S. 
Baldwin, treasurer. In addition Hiram Johnson, William S. Grubbs and Fred 
Norman are members of the board of directors. Mr. Durfee has contributed in 
large measure to the success of the undertaking since assuming management of 
the business as its secretary. His knowledge of former real-estate transactions 
in the county and his understanding of present conditions have both contributed 
to the success of the undertaking. 

Mr. Durfee is also prominent in other relations of life. He was a charter 
member of the Knights of Pythias lodge and also became a member of the Knight 
Templar commandery of Decatur. He was reared under strong anti-slavery 
influences and his sympathies were with the republican party until 1872, since 
which time he has been an advocate of democratic principles. In 1878 he was 
elected as the regular democratic candidate to the thirty-first general assembly 
and during its sessions served on the committees on appropriations, insurance, 
banks and banking and labor and manufacturers. He gave close and earnest 
attention to the business which came before the legislature and in 1880 his course 
received the endorsement of the party in a second nomination. Again he was 
elected and became the democratic candidate for speaker of the house. To his 
activity and efforts along political lines several excellent results are directly 
traceable. 

In October, 1868, in Toledo, Ohio, Mr. Durfee was united in marriage to 
Miss Lucy W. Hamilton of that city and their children were: Lucille, who be- 
came the wife of Louis Edward Eyman and died in February, 1907; and Edith 
N., who is a graduate of the Columiba College of Expression in Chicago and 
also studied for six months under the noted reader and teacher, Leland Powers, 
of Boston, Massachusetts. She has been very successful in teaching her art and 
also gives readings in the Christian and Presbyterian churches of Decatur. 

The family are of the Episcopal faith and Mr. Durfee was a member of the 
building committee of the new St. John's church. He does not hold membership 
with the church but has always contributed generously to its support. He is a 
man of liberal views not only on religious questions but on all matters of vital 
interest and is regarded as one of the most public-spirited citizens of Decatur. 



244 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

His labors in behalf of the general good have long been a tangible element in the 
progress and improvement of the city, while his enterprise, activity and high 
sense of personal honor and integrity have been the salient features in the at- 
tainment of his success in business life. He was a delegate to the convention 
that nominated Grover Cleveland for president in 1892. 



ELLEN M. LUKENS. 



The name of Lukens has for more than a half a century figured in connection 
with the history of Macon county. At the family home in Argenta reside Ellen 
M. Lukens and her sister, Mary. The father, Aaron Lukens, came to this country 
in 1857 and, purchasing a tract of land in Friends Creek township, there took up 
his abode and began farming. He opened up a farm of about four hundred 
acres and became a well known agriculturist and business man of his part of 
the state. He was a native of Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, where he was 
reared to mature years, and was married, the lady of his choice being Miss 
Anna Foulke, who was also born and reared in Montgomery county. Mr. Lukens 
engaged in the lumber business in the Keystone state but also followed farming 
there, making his home in Pennsylvania for some years or until after the birth 
of his children. In 1857, however, he bade adieu to the east, coming with his 
family to Illinois, thinking to find better business oportunities in the wide and 
rolling prairies of this state. Reaching Macon county, he invested in land which 
he converted into a well improved farm, making his home thereon for several 
years. He then removed to a farm near Maroa upon which he spent his last 
years, his death occurring there on the 3d of September, 1869. His wife survived 
him for about five years and passed away in November, 1873. One of their 
sons, William Lukens, enlisted for service in the Civil war, joining the One 
Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry with which he went south 
and continued in active service with his regiment, until his death, which occurred 
at Youngs Point, Louisiana, June 22, 1863. His remains were brought home 
for burial and were interred in Greenwood cemetery of Decatur. David Lukens, 
another son of the family, was born upon the old homestead farm in Pennsyl- 
vania and at length succeeded to the ownership of the place. He continued in 
active connection with agricultural interests until 1900, when he, too, passed 
away and was laid to rest in Greenwood cemetery. A sister, Mrs. Margaret 
Smedley, who is a widow, resides in Philadelphia and has two children, Anna 
and Nathan Smedly. Mary is living in Argenta. Dr. Edward Lukens was also 
a soldier of the Civil war, serving throughout the period of hostilities with the 
One Hundred and Sixteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The latter located in 
Decatur where he married and his last years were spent in that city. Grace 
Lukens is now the wife of John Bixby and resides in Chicago. R. H. Lukens 
reached adult age but died in 1876 The youngest of the family is Ellen M. 
Lukens, who resides with her sister Mary in Argenta, where they own a neat 
and attractive home. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 245 

The parents were members of the Society of Friends in Philadelphia and 
reared their family in that faith. They were earnest Christian people who lived 
peaceable, quiet lives in accordance with the teachings of the sect. After the 
death of the father the family removed to Decatur, where they resided for six 
years, and then returned to the home farm north of Aregnta, where they lived 
until the spring of 1910. At that time a tract of land of thirty-five acres in 
Argenta was purchased, together with their present home. The deceased mem- 
bers of the family have been laid to rest in Greenwood cemetery of Decatur, in 
the beautiful and well kept family lot. The father was numbered among the 
early settlers here and the other representatives of the name have been well 
known, their substantial qualities winning for them the friendly regard and good 
will of all with whom they have been associated. 



JOHN K. WARREN. 



On the list of Decatur's honored dead apears the name of John K. Warren, 
whose worth as a man and citizen placed him high in public regard. All who 
knew him respected and honored him and his demise was the occasion of deep 
and widespread regret. He was born in Philadelphia on the 10th of August, 
1834, his parents being Josiah and Ann (Reynolds) Warren, the former of 
English and the latter of Scotch-Irish descent. In his native city the son spent 
his youthful days and was accorded the opportunity of acquiring an academic 
education. He afterward engaged in farming in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, 
and in the year 1855 made his way to Chicago, hoping to be benefited in health. 
The change did not bring the desired result, however, and he decided to go 
south. He started as a passenger on one of the trains of the Illinois Central 
Railroad, which had just been completed. Stopping over night in Decatur, he 
found when he awoke in the morning that he was free from asthma, with which 
he had been seriously troubled for many months. This caused him to settle in 
Macon county and within a week he purchased a farm three miles northeast of 
the city. In the spring of 1856 he returned to take up his permanent abode 
here, accompanied by his mother, who spent her remaining days in Macon 
county. 

After living on the farm for two years Mr. Warren removed to Decatur in 
1858 and the following year established a real-estate and insurance office. In 
1863 he formed a partnership with Henry B. Durfee and under the firm style 
of Durfee & Warren the business was continued until 1865, when Bradford K. 
Durfee was made partner. In 1868 H. B. Durfee retired from the firm and 
the firm name became Warren & Durfee. In 1893 Mr. Durfee retired and Mr. 
Warren continued the business alone until his death. The firm prepared the 
first set of abstracts of titles ever used in Macon county and were pioneers of 
copyrights as applied to abstracts of titles in the United States. Mr. Warren 
enjoyed good health for some years after coming to Illinois but in 1873 his old 
asthmatic troubles returned with violence and he spent much of the succeeding 
five years in California and Texas for the benefit of his health, which was 
greatly improved by his sojourn in the south. 



246 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Mr. Warren became deeply interested in railroad building and between 1867 
and 1872 was very actively engaged in securing the building of new railway 
lines to important points. He was connected with the Pekin, Lincoln & Decatur 
now the Peoria, Danville & Evansville Railroad from the first until the trains were 
run over that line into Decatur He was also associated with the Indiana & Illinois 
Railroad, which was organized in 1853 and which is now a part of the Wabash 
system. He served as its president from 1868 until 1871 and was instrumental 
in securing the reorganization of the company, resulting in the eventual con- 
struction of the line. Through his activity in railway connections he did much 
to promote the interests of Decatur, for the growth of every city depends in 
very large measure upon its railway facilities. In 1868 he organized the Deca- 
tur Gas Light & Coke Company, of which he was president. 

In May, 1866, occurred the marriage of Mr. Warren and Miss Emma Powers, 
of Decatur, and they were for many years well known socially in the city. In 
politics he was a republican and his party elected him to the office of municipal 
chief executive in 1867. In other positions to which he was called as well as 
that of mayor he served with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constitu- 
ents. In early life he was a member of the Presbyterian church, but 
later joined the Episcopal church, and was ever a man of honor and uprightness 
whose life commended him to the confidence and high regard of all. He has 
left his impress indelibly upon the history of Macon county and its substantial 
and permanent upbuilding. 



ANDREW HEMINGER. 

There are few men whose lives are crowned with the honor and respect 
uniformly accorded Andrew Heminger, but through many years connection with 
Illinois his has been an unblemished character. With him, success in life has 
been reached through close application intelligently directed. He has never 
deviated from what his judgment would indicate to be right and honorable 
between his fellowmen and himself and it is this which has won for him the esteem 
which is now so freely given him by all who know him. Stark county, Ohio is the 
place of his nativity and the date of his birth December 12, 1836. His parents 
were Frederick and Maria (Willard) Heminger, both of whom were natives 
of Pennsylvania, where they were reared and married. Subsequently they re- 
moved to Stark county, Ohio and in 1839 went to Wood county, Ohio, settling 
near Toledo, where their remaining days were passed. The father was a 
prominent farmer of that locality. 

The boyhood and youth of Andrew Heminger were spent in Wood county, 
where he was reared to farm life, pursuing his education in the old-time typical 
log schoolhouse with its puncheon floor, slab seats and other crude furnishings. 
In April, 1857, he followed Horace Greeley's advice to young men and went 
west as far as the territory of Kansas. At that time Jefferson City, Missouri, 
was the terminus of the western railroad and Kansas City was a mere hamlet. 
There were no buildings in the levee district and no bakery in the town and at 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 247 

that time Mr. Heminger could have homesteaded land within the present city- 
limits. He remained in Kansas, however, for only about six weeks, after which 
he returned to Illinois, settling in Cerro Gordo, where his first work was break- 
ing prairie with five yoke of oxen and a thirty-six-inch plow. For his service 
he was paid fourteen dollars per month. He continued to work as a farm hand 
until after the inauguration of the Civil war, when his patriotism was aroused 
by the continued attempt of the south to overthrow the Union and on the nth of 
August, 1862, he enlisted as a member of Company K, One Hundred and 
Seventh Illinois Infantry. He served for three years, lacking one month, as a 
private and was honorably discharged July n, 1865, at Camp Butler, Illinois, 
after participating in the Atlanta campaign, in the battles of Franklin and Knox- 
ville and in other important engagements. 

When the war had ended Mr. Heminger returned to Cerro Gordo and began 
farming on his own account. For three years he rented land and then made his 
first investment in property, buying at that time a modest forty acres, which, 
however, constituted the nucleus of his later extensive possessions. His second 
purchase of one hundred and sixty acres was made in 1873 and for this he paid 
twenty-nine dollars per acre. This farm is now within a half mile of the city 
limits of Cerro Gordo and is worth two hundred and fifty dollars per acre on 
more. About 1890, however, Mr. Heminger sold that property for seventy-five 
dollars per acre, which at that time was the highest price ever paid for land in 
his township with the exception of the price paid for a forty-acre tract. He con- 
tinued to buy and sell farm lands and at one time owned four hundred and fifty- 
eight acres in Macon county but disposed of his holdings and in 1898 removed 
to Decatur, where he has since made his home. He has, however, through the 
intervening period continued his speculations in farm lands and also in Decatur 
city properties. He is now the owner of five hundred and ninety-one acres in 
Macon county, much of which is located near Decatur and is very valuable. He 
also owns three business properties, three flat buildings and various other 
properties and from his holdings derives a substantial and gratifying annual 
income. Until quite recently he has been regarded as one of the most active 
and prominent financiers of Decatur and although now practically living retired, 
he still looks after his holdings and is one of the most successful men of the 
city. He is a splendid type of a self-made man, for owing to the limited financial 
resources of his father he had to start out for himself in a very humble capacity. 
His business acumen, however, was soon manifest and his success is attributable 
in no small degree to the fact that he has recognized and utilized opportunities 
that other have passed heedlessly by. 

Mr. Heminger has been married twice. In June, 1862, he wedded Miss 
Rachel Long, of Piatt county, who died in 1873. Their only child died in 
infancy. In 1877, Mr. Heminger wedded Miss Melinda Schoolcraft, of Piatt 
county, and they became the parents of four children, of whom two died in 
infancy. The others are Bertha F., who is the wife of Merl Cobb, of Webster 
Groves, St. Louis county, Missouri, and has one child, Lenora F. ; and Maud, 
who gave her hand in marriage to Henry Wallace, likewise of Webster Groves 
Missouri. 



248 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Politically Mr. Heminger is a pronounced republican, regarding the principles 
of the party as most conducive to good government. He has served as commis- 
sioner of highways and as assessor of his township in Piatt county but has never 
been an office seeker, preferring to devote his energies to his business affairs and 
social interests. He holds membership in Cerro Gordo Lodge, No. 246, I. O. O. 
F., and Cerro Gordo Post, No. 210, G. A. R., of which he has served as com- 
mander. He and his wife are members of the Grace Methodist Episcopal 
church and he is serving as one of its trustees. He is now in the seventy- fourth 
year of his age — a life of activity, enterprise and of honor. His success has 
never been won at the sacrifice of others' interests but has come as the result of 
careful investment and of marked business ability. 



MORILLOW CAMERON GLASGOW. 

Morillow C. Glasgow, a pioneer farmer now retired, who is a native of this 
state and has made his home in Macon county for forty-five years past, is now 
enjoying at his comfortable home in Harristown township well earned rest. He 
is one of the "fathers" in stock-raising and agriculture in the state of Illinois and 
by energy, thrift and good judgment accumulated a fortune, owning at one time 
six hundred and thirty acres of well improved land in Macon and Christian 
counties. 

Mr. Glasgow was born on a farm six miles from Belleville, St. Clair county, 
Illinois, January 25 1833, a son of James P. and Hester (Baldwin) Glasgow. 
His father was a native of Kentucky and on coming to Illinois located in St. Clair 
county after he arrived at maturity. The mother was born in South Carolina and 
removed to Daviess county, Indiana, with her parents, who were early settlers of 
that state. Mr. and Mrs. Glasgow were married in Indiana and lived for a num- 
ber of years in St. Clair county, this state, but at last located in Macon county 
in April, 1865. 

Morillow C. Glasgow was reared in St. Clair county, where he had limited 
advantages of education in the little log schoolhouse of the neighborhood. He 
continued with his father until he was twenty-one years of age and then hired 
out to him by the month to herd cattle in Washington and Monroe counties. In 
the latter county he became the owner of a farm of eighty-five acres, but he dis- 
posed of this farm and came with his father to Macon county, where he has 
since lived. 

In 1855, in Monroe county, Mr. Glasgow was united in marriage to Miss 
Adaline Keagy, and four children were born to them : Izora, who died at the age 
of twelve years ; Isabelle Isadora, now Mrs. Younger Filson, of Decatur, and the 
mother of five children — Earl, Orpha, Dessie, Charles and Henry: Hester C, 
now Mrs. Llovd Stanford, of South Wheatland township, this county, and the 
mother of one child, Lottie B. ; and Alice Luella, now Mrs. Thomas Jacobs, of 
South Wheatland township, and the mother of one child, Floyd G. The wife 
and mother passed away while the family were residing in Monroe county and 
Mr. Glasgow was again married, May 5, 1869, in St. Genevieve county, Missouri, 




MR. AND MRS. M. C. CLASCOW 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 253 

the lady of his choice being Miss Maggie A. Patterson, who was born in St. Fran- 
cois county, Missouri, June 2, 1848, a daughter of James and Sarah A. (Thomp- 
son) Patterson. Her father was also a native of St. Francois county and her 
mother came from Tennessee. Mr. Patterson was a blacksmith by trade and 
was an industrious and honorable citizen. Three children have blessed the union 
of Mr. and Mrs. Glasgow, Charles Burton, born on the home farm in Harris- 
town township, was united in marriage to Dora Warburton. He lives on the 
home farm and has one child, William Carl. Leslie Lloyd, who was married to 
Hattie Knight, also lives on the home farm and has three sons, Garth, Floyd and 
Charles. Ethel Fay, who is married to Harry Bedford, lives in Decatur town- 
ship. 

Mr. Glasgow in his earlier years was in sympathy with the democratic party 
but he has voted the republican ticket ever since the Civil war. He has never 
held public office, as his attention has been devoted to agricultural and stock- 
raising interests, in which he has been a leader in his region for many years. In 
his earlier life he endured many of the hardships so familiar to the pioneers, 
when there were few roads and fewer bridges, no hotels, railroads, telegraph or 
telephone; when travelers cooked their own meals upon camp fires and the cloth 
was woven by the women of the household; and a simplicity of life prevailed 
of which a later generation can have little conception. Of all this he has been 
a part and yet, notwithstanding the objections which are made against our 
present form of living, if he had the power he would not have the world turn 
back to the conditions of the primitive days. In the evening of a busy life, Mr. 
Glasgow has the respect of a wide circle of friends, whose earnest wishes are 
that he may continue to enjoy many years of comfort and happiness. 



C. A. BURKS. 



Various important business concerns have felt the stimulus of the energy, 
sagacity and enterprise of C. A. Burks, who is now largely concentrating his 
attention upon the track buying grain business. One of the native sons of Illi- 
nois, he was born in Vermilion county, July 16, 1866. His early education was 
supplemented by a two years' preparatory course in the Illinois Wesleyan Uni- 
versity and followed by a two years' English scientific course. Turning his at- 
tention to the profession of teaching, he became principal of the high school at 
Bement, Illinois, and for twelve years remained a resident of that city, although 
he retired from his connection with the schools after two years and purchased 
the Bement Register, which he published for two years. On selling the paper 
he purchased the J. C. McCord elevator and lumberyard and conducted a grain, 
lumber and coal business until 1900. 

At that time Mr. Burks came to Decatur and for five years thereafter con- 
ducted a track buying grain business. He has since been engaged in the land 
business, handling the Yazoo valley lands, which are among the most fertile 
in western Mississippi. In the meantime, however, he built up one of the largest 



254 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

track buying grain enterprises of the middle west under the style of C. A. Burks 
& Company. His business furnished an excellent market for the grain producers 
of central Illinois and the extent of his operations brought him to a most 
prominent position in the field in which he conducted his interests. In July, 
1910, Mr. Burks sold his stock in the United States Brokerage Company and 
reembarked in the grain business with offices in the Citizens Bank building, De- 
catur. A man of resourceful business ability and initiative spirit, he readily forms 
his plans and is determined in their execution. In his vocabulary there is no 
such word as fail. When one avenue of opportunity seems closed he seeks out 
another path which leads to the desired goal and he never stops short of the 
objective point if persistent and honorable effort can overcome difficulties and 
obstacles. He was the organizer of the United States Brokerage Company and 
its president for four years, during which period he developed the largest general 
real-estate, insurance and loan business in this section of the country, handling 
business of this class all over the United States. He continued in active con- 
nection therewith until August 1, 19 10, when he sold his interest to other mem- 
bers of the firm, who still continue the business. 

On the 6th of June, 1900, Mr. Burks was married to Miss A. Edith Ruby, 
of Bement, Illinois, and a daughter of Virgil S. Ruby, who for two terms was 
representative of the Bement district in the state legislature, serving as a mem- 
ber of the general assembly when John A. Logan was elected to the United 
States senate. He was born in Vincennes, Knox county, Indiana, in 1834. His 
grandfather was a soldier of the war of 1812. His parents were natives of 
Kentucky and after living for some years in Indiana removed to Sangamon county, 
Illinois, in 1843, Virgil S. Ruby there remaining from that year until September, 
1877, when he took up his abode in Bement, which was his place of residence 
until his death, on the 17th of March, 1888. He was one of the most influential 
citizens of the town and on the republican ticket was chosen representative from 
the thirtieth senatorial district for two terms and was a candidate for a third 
term when he passed away. As a legislator he served on numerous important 
committees, being chairman of the appropriations and agricultural committees 
through both terms. He was a very highly respected citizen and prominent busi- 
ness man, who for a long period was connected with the grain trade but in 1884 
retired from active business life. He was also a leading member of different 
Masonic bodies, including Beaumanoir Commandery of Decatur, and his fellow 
Knight Templars of that organization had charge of his funeral services. His 
life was characterized by benevolent actions and kindly deeds as well as marked 
business ability and political prominence, and every movement for the social, 
intellectual and moral improvement of the community always found him a friend 
and advocate. He was married in April, 1858, to Miss Mary A. Crane, and their 
children were William and A. Edith. 

The latter, now Mrs. Burks, is one of the society leaders of Decatur and 
her home is the scene of many attractive social functions. Mr. Burks is promi- 
nent in the Masonic fraternity, holding membership in Macon Lodge, No. 8, 
A. F. & A. M. ; Decatur Chapter, R. A. M. ; Beaumanoir Commandery, K. T. ; 
and Mohammed Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Peoria. He is also a member 
of the Decatur Club, and he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 255 

Episcopal church. The varied interests of his life make his a well balanced 
character. He is never neglectful of the duties of citizenship or unmindful of 
his obligations to his fellowmen and yet he stands preeminently forth as one of 
the leading business men of Decatur, promoting and controlling interests of 
magnitude, which are a source of development and growth to the communities 
in which they are located as well as a factor in the attainment of individual success. 



ENOS E. PENNYPACKER. 

Enos E. Pennypacker, who has been successfully engaged in the butchering 
business at Macon for the past three decades, was born in Montgomery county, 
Pennyslvania, on the 13th of February, 1845. His parents, Oliver and Rachel 
(DeFrain) Pennypacker, were born in the years 1823 and 1824 respectively and 
spent their entire lives in the Keystone state. The father was the youngest in 
a family of six children, while the mother was the fourth in order of birth in a 
family of similar size. Oliver Pennypacker was a harness maker by trade an8 
worked at that occupation until 1852, when he embarked in the butchering 
business, conducting a successful enterprise of that character throughout the 
remainder of his life. His demise occurred in June, 1890, while his wife was 
called to her final rest in 1892. 

Enos E. Pennypacker, who was the eldest of four children, spent the first 
thirty-one years of his life in his native state and obtained his education in its 
public schools. Under the direction of his father he learned the butchering 
business in early life and has been identified therewith throughout his entire 
business career. In 1876, he came to Illinois, first locating in Taylorville, Chris- 
tian county, while subsequently he took up his abode at Moweaqua. He arrived 
in Macon on the 21st of March, 1880, and has since been connected with the 
business interests of that town as the proprietor of a meat market, having built 
up a large and profitable trade. He owns an attractive residence in Macon and has 
long been numbered among the substantial and respected citizens of the 
community. 

On the 14th of October, 1866, Mr. Pennypacker was united in marriage to 
Miss Jane E. Carmack, whose birth occurred on the 9th of May, 1844, her 
parents being Jacob and Anna Carmack, natives of Ohio. Mrs. Pennypacker 
was the youngest in a family of four children and by her marriage has become 
the mother of six, the record of whom is as follows : Ella Irene, whose natal day 
was February 23, 1868, is the wife of Charles Kerns, of Illiopolis, Sangamon 
county, by whom she has four children. Emma C, who was born April 13, 
1870, gave her hand in marriage to Otto Hill, of Macon, and is the mother of 
two children. Webster C, born July 24, 1871, wedded Miss Maud Murphy, of 
Macon county, and makes his home in Decatur. The young couple have two 
children. Preston S., whose birth occurred January 26, 1875, married Miss 
Nellie Atterbury, of Macon, and now resides in Oreana, this county. He is 



256 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

the father of four children. Earla Golda, born August 29, 1880, wedded Henry 
W. Willoughby, of Macon, and now makes her home in Springfield. Her 
children are two in number. William T., who was born March 20, 1884, wedded 
Miss Mamie Clark, of Decatur, by whom he has one child. They now reside in 
Macon. 

Politically Mr. Pennypacker is a stanch advocate of the republican party, 
believing that its principles are most conducive to good government. His 
wife is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church and he also 
attends its services. He enjoys a wide and favorable acquaintance in the com- 
munity, having won the kindly regard and esteem of all with whom business or 
social relations have brought him in contact. 



WILLIAM MASON AUSTIN. 

Among the substantial farmers and stock-raisers of Macon county should 
be named William Mason Austin, the owner of a well improved farm of eighty 
acres in Harristown township. He is a native of this county, born April 1, 1873, 
on a farm in Blue Mound township, about a mile north of the village of Boody, 
his parents being William C. and Ellen (Kasson) Austin. The father was 
born in Blue Mound township, January 1, 1843, an d was a son of Squire William 
A. and Eleanor (Wornick) Austin. Squire William A. Austin was a native of 
Virginia and inherited many of the charcteristics peculiar to the old Virginia 
gentleman. He removed to Tennessee and later came to Macon county in the 
movement which tended toward Illinois for many years from the southern 
states. He arrived in this county some time before 1830 and settled in Blue 
Mound township, where he passed the remainder of his life, serving for many 
years as justice of the peace and being recognized as one of the leading men 
in his part of the county. He was a stanch democrat and was always known as 
a man of the highest integrity and honor. William C. Austin, the father of our 
subject, received his education in the common schools and in many respects 
followed in the footsteps of his honored father. He served as justice of the 
peace with great acceptance and also filled other positions of public responsibility. 
He departed this life in March, 1909, but the mother of our subject is still living. 

William Mason Austin grew to manhood on the home farm and received 
a good education in the district schools, so that at twenty years of age he became 
a school teacher. After one year, however, he saw the importance of further 
training in order to guide safely the minds of the young and he became a student 
at the State Normal School, at Normal, Illinois, where he continued at intervals 
for several terms. His teaching was limited to about seven years, in the course 
of which time he acquired an enviable reputation as a first class teacher, a 
thorough disciplinarian and one who could have made a pronounced success as 
a pedagogue had he chosen to continue in that line. His love for the farm drew 
him to agricultural pursuits in preference to the school room and in the fall of 
1901 he bought a farm of eighty acres, upon which he has Jived since 1902, 
paying at the time of the purchase one hundred and ten dollars per acre. The 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 257 

farm has very largely advanced in value and he has remodeled the buildings and 
made many improvements. 

On March 30, 1899, Mr. Austin was united in marriage in Wheatland town- 
ship to Miss Minnie Kater, who was born in that township, a daughter of 
Frederick and Elizabeth (Sasenburg) Kater who were natives of Germany 
and came to this country about 1868, first locating in Illini township, this county, 
and later in Wheatland township. There Mr. Kater attained succeess in farming 
and became the owner of a farm of three hundred and forty acres. He was a 
man of influence in his locality and served as road commissioner. In religious 
belief he was a Lutheran and in his daily life he attempted to put into practice 
the teachings of that church. He was called to his reward August 1, 1908, and 
his faithful companion passed away January 21, 1909. Two children have been 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Austin: Helen May, born May 25, 1901 ; and Ruth Mar- 
guerite, born September 14, 1909. 

Mr. Austin was reared as a democrat, but his study of politics has led him 
into broader views and he is now independent, voting according to the conditions 
and needs which are changing from year to year and are seldom the same in 
all parts of the country. He is greatly interested in the improvement of the 
county and for six years has acted as highway commissioner, during which 
time he has graveled three miles of roadway, put in one hundred feet of bridge 
work and several concrete arches and about three-quarters of a mile of con- 
crete sidewalk in Harristown. His wife and himself are both members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, of which he is serving as steward. By industry 
and a life free from reproach Mr. Austin has gained an honorable place in the 
minds and hearts of the people of the community and in a striking degree has 
he exemplified the great truth that peace, prosperity and happiness are within 
the reach of everyone who will rightfully apply himself and never yield to 
discouragement. 



I. J. CARR. 



Macon county can truthfully boast of well equipped farmers who were born 
in this county, have passed all their lives here and are now successfully demon- 
strating their ability in the line of agriculture or live-stock raising. Among this 
number may be named I. J. Carr, who is operating three hundred and twenty- 
five acres of land on sections 10 and 15, South Macon township. Mr. Carr was 
born May 26, 1871, and is a son of N. A. and Melissa J. (Rettinghouse) Carr. 
The father was born in St. Clair county, this state, March 29, 1838, but since 
1865 and has been a resident of Macon county. He has devoted his active life to 
the farming interests and ten years ago retired from active work and is now living 
in Decatur. Mrs. Carr was also a native of St. Clair county. She was born July 
11, 1840, and was called away in Febuary, 1910, at Decatur, after a long life 
of usefullness. She was the mother of ten children, of whom the subject was 
the sixth in order of birth. 

I. J. Carr was educated in the public schools and as a boy grew up on the 
farm and became thoroughly familiar with all the details of farm life. At 



258 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

seventeen years of age, desiring to see something of the great world that lay- 
beyond the horizon, he went to Texas, where he lived for four years and was 
identified with the farming industry. Returning to Illinois, he began for himself 
upon his father's property in this county and later took up his residence at his 
present home upon his father's estate, where he is engaged principally in feeding 
live stock for the market, raising only enough hay and grain for this purpose. 
He has attained general recognition as one of the responsible stock feeders of 
this part of the county. He is also owner of a tract of one hundred and twenty 
acres of irrigated land in a highly promising district near Ordway, Colorado. 

In 1896, Mr. Carr was united in marriage to Miss Hattie R. Sanner, a 
daughter of Edward B. and Naomi (Pierson) Sanner, of Shelby county, Illinois. 
She is the third of a family of nine children and was born March 20, 1871. 
Four children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Carr: Lawrence H., 
born November 24, 1896; Eunice H., July 20, 1898; Chauncey C, May 5, 1901 ; 
and Ruth D., November 1, 1903. 

Mr. Carr holds membership in Macon Lodge, No. 467, A. F. & A. M., and 
is an earnest believer in the principles of brotherhood, which are the foundation 
of that organization. Politically he is allied with the democratic party but he 
has never sought public ofhce as his energies are most applied to his duties 
on the farm, where his chief interest centers. In his wife he has found a de- 
lightful companion and a worthy assistant in every undertaking for the welfare 
of the neighborhood, their home being a center of social influence for friends 
and acquaintances who are here always accorded a cordial greeting. 



ALEXANDER CHAPMAN TRAUGHBER. 

Alexander Chapman Traughber, who has resided in Macon county through- 
out his entire life, covering a period of almost three-fourths of a century, has 
lived in honorable retirement since 1903, having won a handsome competence 
through the careful conduct of his agricultural interests in former years. He 
is one of the county's well known, respected and most properous citizens and 
owns eight hundred and forty acres o f rich and productive land. 

His birth occurred in Mount Zion township on the 3d of April, 1834, his 
parents being Henry and Nancy (Smith) Traughber, who were natives of 
Tennessee and Kentucky respectively. The father came of German lineage, 
while the mother was of Irish descent. They came here about 1828, Henry 
Traughber being the second man to take out a marriage license in Shelby county, 
of which Macon county was at that time a part. He was a brick mason by trade 
and assisted in the erection of the first courthouse in Shelby county. Subse- 
quently he abandoned that occupation in order that he might devote his attention 
to general agricultural pursuits, locating on a tract of prairie and timber land 
which is now the home of our subject. In the lob cabin which he erected there- 
on all of his children were born. Alert, enterprising and energetic, he prospered 
in his farming interests as the years passed by and accumulated four hundred 
and forty acres of valuable land. For many years prior to his death he lived 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 259 

retired in the enjoyment of well earned rest. When he passed away in 1892 at 
the age of ninety years, the community mourned the loss of one of its most 
esteemed and honored early settlers. His wife was called to her final rest in the 
fall of 1864, when she was fifty-five years old. 

Alexander Chapman Traughber attended the district schools until eighteen 
years of age and when not busy with his text-books assisted his father in the 
operation of the home farm, which has remained his place of 'abode from his 
birth to the present time. In 1855 he started out as an agriculturist on his own 
account, first renting a portion of his father's farm. By dint of untiring in- 
dustry and unremitting energy he accumulated the capital which enabled him to 
buy a tract of three hundred and twenty acres, while later he extended the 
boundaries of his farm by an additional purchase of five hundred and twenty 
acres, so that his place now comprises eight hundred and forty acres. The 
property is highly improved in every particular, lacking none of the equipments 
and accessories of a model farm of the twentieth century. In connection with the 
tilling of the soil he was also engaged in stock-raising, both branches of his 
business returning to him a gratifying annual income. In 1903 he put aside 
the active work of the fields, having since enjoyed the rest which he so richly 
merits. As before stated, he still makes his home on the farm where his 
birth occurred but during the winter months resides in Los Angeles, California. 

On the nth of December, 1856, Mr. Traughber was united in marriage to 
Miss Virginia C. Whitehouse, of Mount Zion township. She was born in 
Virginia on the 2d of January, 1839, her parents being George and Nancy 
(McCall) Whitehouse. The former, a prosperous agriculturist, died when his 
daughter Virginia was still but an infant, while the latter passed away in 1876 
at the age of seventy-five years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Traughber have been born 
four children, as follows : George M., whose birth occurred on the 4th of June, 
1865; Judd, whose natal day was May 14, 1868; William Burt, who was born 
September 15, 1871 ; and Flaudia May, who was born June 6, 1874. 

Mr. Traughber is a republican in politics and a Presbyterian in religious 
faith. Having lived in this country for almost seventy-five years, he enjoys an 
extensive acquaintance within its borders and is largely familiar with the various 
stages of its growth and development, relating in an interesting manner many 
incidents and experiences of pioneer days. 



LEONA F. BOWMAN. 



Leona F. Bowman, the county superintendent of schools, was born near 
Oakley, Macon county, December 31, 1873, a daughter of Andrew and Emma 
Lena (Manecke) Bowman, both of whom were natives of Ohio. Coming to 
Macon county in 1867, they settled on a farm near Oakley, but are now residents 
of Decatur. Their daughter, Leona F. Bowman, was educated in the rural 
schools and the normal school, and began teaching at the age of seventeen years 
at a salary of thirty dollars per month. That her ability was manifest during 
that period is indicated by the fact that in the second year she was given fifty 



260 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

dollars per month. She was offered positions in the city schools but preferred 
to teach in the country, and did so for some time. During that period she attended 
different schools in the summer seasons and in 1906 she became a candidate 
for the position which she is now filling. Although a candidate of the minority 
party in Macon county, she received a majority of over two hundred votes 
and in office has given entire satisfaction to the public, making a great success 
in her administration of educational affairs in Macon county. She has created 
enthusastic local interests by holding spelling contests. 

Miss Bowman belongs to the National Educational Association and is con- 
stantly alert to the demands and needs of the school and to efforts for the 
improvement and development of the educational system. Her work has indeed 
been of far-reaching effect and has won the approval of even the most conserva- 
tive. She believes in the comprehension of each student as an individual and 
that every teacher should study her pupils and know just how to adapt the 
work to specific needs. 



BRYANT L. BRASFIELD. 

Among the younger representatives of farming interests in Macon county 
Bryant L. Brasfield is prominent. He is only now in his twenty-fifth year, yet 
is the owner of and successfully operates two hundred and forty-five acres of 
valuable farm land, pleasantly and conveniently situated about two miles north 
of Harristown. He has been a lifelong resident of Illinois, his birth having 
occurred on the 10th of May, 1886, near Sweetwater, Menard county, his parents 
being Thomas Howard and Cynthia (Camp) Brasfield. The father was born 
in the year 1829 in Madison county, Kentucky, near Richmond, and was but 
four years of age when his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Brasfield, removed 
from the Blue Grass state to Illinois, settling in Menard county, which was 
then largely a wild and undeveloped region. The Black Hawk war had occurred 
only the previous year and there were still many evidences of Indian occupancy 
throughout the state. Little of the native forest had been cut and much of the 
open land was still covered with the wild prairie grasses. It was an easy matter 
to obtain a farm by entering a claim from the government and the usual ex- 
periences of pioneer life were to be met with on every hand. It was amid the 
environment of the frontier that Thomas H. Brasfield was reared and in the public 
schools of Menard county he was educated. After attaining man's estate he 
took up farming and stock-raising on his own acount and became a prosperous 
representative of the agricultural interests of the community. He was a very 
public-spirited man and also a prominent factor in the ranks of the republican 
party, his opinions carrying weight in its local councils. He continued a valued 
resident of Menard county to the time of his death, which ocurred in 1900. He 
is still survived by his widow, who is now making her home in Eureka, Wood- 
ford county, Illinois. 

Bryant L. Brasfield began his education in the common schools and after- 
ward went to Springfield, Illinois, there pursuing a business course. He also 




syant l. i:kasfii:i.i> 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 263 

spent two and a half years in Eureka College and a year and a half in the Uni- 
versity of Illinois, devoting his time to a literary course in Eureka and to the 
agricultural course in the State University. He worked upon the home farm 
during his vacation periods and afterward resided in Eureka from September, 
1904, until March, 1910. He then went upon the show circuit with Carpenter 
& Ross of Mansfield, Ohio, with a shorthorn herd, traveling through Ohio, 
Kentucky and Tennessee, just for the experience. Later he purchased the farm 
of two hundred and forty-five acres in Macon county upon which he now re- 
sides and is here extensively and successfully engaged in breeding shorthorn 
cattle, having a fine herd upon his place. He also farms his land and his fields 
are highly cultivated. The farm presents every appearance of being cared for 
along the most progressive and practical lines and its substantial buildings, well 
tilled fields and high grades of stock indicate the owner to be one of the leading 
farmers of his part of the county. He took up his abode upon his present place 
in March, 1907, and his work is being attended by excellent results. 

That Mr. Brasfield is a man of high principles is indicated in the fact that 
he is an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity belonging to Lodge No. 
306, A. F. & A. M., at Eureka, and also he belongs to the Christian church. The 
future undoubtedly holds in store for him substantial success, for he is already 
working his way upward along lines that promise excellent results for the future. 



HENRY HAHN. 



Henry Hahn, who follows the pursuits of farming and stock-raising in 
Maroa township, has won a gratifying measure of success in his labors in this 
connection. His birth occurred in St. Clair county, Illinois, on the 26th of 
October, 1857, his parents being John and Mary (Hirsch) Hahn. The former 
was born in Germany in 1830, while the latter's birth occurred in Illinois about 
1835. John Hahn was a youth of fifteen when he accompanied his parents on 
their emigration to the United States, the family home being established in St. 
Clair county, Illinos. He was successfully engaged in farming throughout his 
active business career and is now living retired in St. Clair county. His first 
wife who bore the maiden name of Mary Hirsch, died when our subject was 
but fourteen years of age. She was the mother of five sons and three daughters, 
one of whom is deceased. The surviving children are as follows : Henry, of this 
review ; John ; Charles ; Fred ; and Anna, Rosa and Celia, all of whom the resi- 
dents of St. Louis. For his second wife John Hahn chose Miss Eva Grone, by 
whom he has one child, Josie. 

Henry Hahn obtained his education in the district schools and when not 
busy with his text-books assisted his father in the work of the home farm, thus 
early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the 
agriculturist. When twenty-six years of age he took up farming independently 
and the work of the fields has claimed his time and energies continuously since. 
In 1895, he commenced farming upon two hundred acres of land and three years 
later took up his abode on his present place of three hundred and twenty acres 



264 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

in Maroa township, Macon county, where he is now carrying on his agricultural 
interests with excellent result, raising stock in connection with the tilling of the 
soil. He rents this property but owns a tract of eighty acres on the east, which 
he purchased in 1907. 

On the 27th of February, 1895, Mr. Hahn was united in marriage to Miss 
Gusta Rosenberger, a daughter of Conrad and Kathrena (Eckert) Rosenberger, 
who were natives of Germany and Illinois respectively. They were the parents 
of six sons and three daughters. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hahn have been born 
five children, three of whom died in infancy. The others are: Irvin C, whose 
natal day was September 2, 1898; and Lena Louisa, whose birth occurred on 
the 25th of August, 1903. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Hahn has supported 
the men and measures of the democratic party, believing firmly in its principles. 
He has always endeavored to live at peace with his fellowmen, acknowledging 
the rights of others, and has manifested a spirit of consideration and kindliness 
that has gained him a warm place in public regard. 



OLNA STANTON HIGHLY. 

Among the farmers' sons of Macon county who have had the good sense to 
remain upon the farm and thus to add to the material wealth of the county as 
well as to assure themselves of a solid financial basis is Olna Stanton Highly, 
who was born April 4, 1864, and is a son of Henry L. and Jane (Gibson) 
Highly. The father was a native of Ohio, born June 12, 1835, and settled in 
Macon county in 1862, where he was actively engaged in farming nearly forty 
years, retiring to Macon ten years before his death, which occurred January 12, 
1910. His wife was born in Pennsylvania, January 29, 1837, and accompanied 
her parents on their removal to Ohio, where she was married in 1862, her 
wedding trip being by wagon overland to Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Highly first 
lived on a farm west of Macon and one year later settled on a tract of land two 
miles south of the present homestead of the family. She is now living in 
Macon with her niece. She and her husband made many friends during their 
long residence on the farm and assisted to the extend of their ability in bringing 
about the great changes that have been witnessed in this region since the Civil 
war. They were the parents of two children : Olna S., our subject ; and James 
Howard, who is now living on the old homestead in this county. 

The subject of this review was educated in the common schools, but, feeling 
the importance of further training in order to be better prepared to meet the 
responsibilities of life, he became a student in a commercial college in Spring- 
field, Illinois, where he pursued a course for six months. After laying aside his 
books he returned to the farm, where he applied himself with the greatest dili- 
gence, assisting his father in its operation. At twenty-six years of age he was 
married and removed to the place where he now resides. He inherited one 
hundred and sixty acres of land from his father and in 1907 purchased eighty 
acres adjoining, so that at the present time he has a farm of two hundred and 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 265 

forty acres, which under his efficient management has been improved until it 
is one of the most desirable farms in South Macon township. The family 
residence with its surroundings forms a neat and attractive home and the entire 
farm reflects in its neat and well kept appearance the orderly character of its 
owner. 

On February 5, 1890, Mr. Highly was united in marriage to Miss Gladys 
Combs, a daughter of Jabez and Sarah (Whittaker) Combs, the former a native 
of Indiana and the latter of Illinois. Mr. Combs came to this state in the early 
days with his parents, who lived in Christian county previous to locating in 
Macon county. Mrs. Highly is the eighth child in a family of twelve children 
and was born October 29, 1867. Three children have blessed the household of 
Mr. and Mrs. Highly: Lena Jane, born November 23, 1890, the wife of John 
Thompson, of Macon county; Lloyd A., born March 5, 1894, living at home; 
Myra Pauline, born March 28, 1898. 

Politically Mr. Highly is independent, voting according to his judgment as 
to the necessities of the times. He is a strong advocate of education and for 
eighteen years past has served most acceptably as a member of the school board. 
Socially he is identified with Beacon Lodge, No. 434, Knights of Pythias, and 
is an active working member of that organization. He and his family are mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian church of Macon and are identified with every good 
work of the neighborhood in which they live. 



B. A. SCHUDEL. 



B. A. Schudel has devoted his time to public service as the postmaster of 
Macon for the past thirteen years, having been appointed to that position in 
1897. His birth occurred in Macon on the 19th of October, 1871, his parents 
being John and Elizabeth (Seng) Schudel, who were natives of Switzerland and 
Illinois respectively. The father crossed the Atlantic to the United States with 
his parents in early life, the family home being established in Greene 
county, Illinois. He came to Macon county a few years later and has 
here resided continuously since. He was first employed as an insurance agent, 
then learned the painter's trade and subsequently embarked in the mercantile 
business at Macon. At the present time he is living retired in Decatur, enjoying 
the fruits of his former toil in well earned ease. Unto him and his estimable 
wife were born eight children, of whom our subject is the second in order of 
birth. 

B. A. Schudel obtained his education in the public schools of this state and 
also pursued a course in Brown's Business College of Decatur. After putting 
aside his text-books he went west and worked on the staff of a newspaper in 
Lincoln, Nebraska, for four years. On the expiration of that period he returned 
to Macon and in 1897 was appointed postmaster of the town, in which capacity 
he has served continuously since. His duties in this connection have been dis- 
charged in a manner entirely satisfactory to the public and his fitness for the 
office is widely acknowledged. 



266 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

In his political views Mr. Schudel is a republican and his fellow townsmen 
have called him to various positions of public trust and responsibility. He acted 
as mayor of Macon for one year, was alderman for two terms, served as town- 
ship collector for one term and for a similar period was town clerk. Fraternally 
he is identified with the Masons, belonging to South Macon Lodge No. 467, A. 
F. & A. M., and the chapter at Blue Mound. He is also a member of Beacon 
Lodge, No. 344, K. P., and Macon Camp, No. 362, M. W. A. In early manhood 
he joined the Methodist Episcopal church of Macon and has since been one of 
its most active and valued members. His salient characteristics are such as 
have gained him tbe confidence and good will of all with whom he has been as- 
sociated and he is well entitled to a foremost place among the substantial and 
representative citizens of his native county. 



WALTER T. DOWNING. 

Among the worthy citizens of English birth and parentage now living in 
Macon county may be named Walter T. Downing, a well known farmer of Har- 
ristown township. He first saw the light of day at Fish Lake, Yorkshire, Eng- 
land, November 15, 1862, and is a son of James and Margaret (Jubb) Downing. 
The father was engaged in farming, an occupation with which the ancestors of 
the family were for many generations identified. 

The subject of this review was educated in the common schools of England 
and at seventeen years of age he decided to cast his lot under the American flag, 
his brother James, an uncle and a great uncle, Thomas Acorn, having previously 
settled in Illinois. Accordingly he crossed the ocean, and began working for his 
uncle by the month, continuing for about three years and in the meantime be- 
coming familiar with the habits and customs of this country. About 1882 his 
parents came from their old home and are now living in Harristown township. 
At twenty years of age our subject began farming independently by renting land 
and continued until 1905 when he moved to a farm of forty acres inherited by 
the lady who became his wife. By industry and economy he was soon able to 
purchase seventy acres adjoining, for which he paid one hundred and seventy- 
six dollars an acre. This was at the time of the record price for farming land in 
this county. He has since made many improvements and, taking into consideration 
the advance in prices, the land is now estimated to be worth about two hundred 
and twenty-five dollars an acre. Mr. Downing now has a beautiful place of 
one hundred and ten acres, which is regarded as one of the model farms in this 
region. 

On June 28, 1900, in Logan county, Mr. Downing was united in marriage to 
Miss Gertrude Davis, who was born on a farm in Niantic township, Macon 
county, November 27, 1878. She is a daughter of Samuel P. and Henrietta 
(Stout) Davis, both natives of Ohio, who emigrated to Illinois and became the 
owners of land in Harristown township, this county. Five children have blessed 
the union of Mr. and Mrs. Downing: Henrietta, born April 2, 1901 ; Margaret, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 267 

born December 4, 1902; Gertrude, born January 15, 1905; Irene, born December 
24, 1907; and Richard Walter, born June 13, 1909. 

Mr. Downing has found in his wife a worthy and sympathetic assistant. 
She is a valued member of the Christian church. Before leaving his native land 
Mr. Downing became identified with the Methodist Episcopal church, but he has 
never affiliated with any religious denomination since taking up his residence in 
Illinois. He is a stanch supporter of the republican party and socially is con- 
nected with Niantic Camp, No. 329, Modern Woodmen of America. His breth- 
ren of the order find in him a worthy and capable assistant, agreeing with many 
friends outside of the organization that he is a man always to be relied upon and 
one who has fairly earned the honorable reputation he has acquired in the county 
of his adption. 



PETER O. BECK. 



Peter O. Beck, successfully engaged in general farming and stock-raising, 
makes his home on section 31, Long Creek township. He is numbered among 
the worthy native sons of Macon county, his birth having occurred in Harris- 
town township on the 25th of November, 1859. His parents were John and 
Nancy (McDaniel) Beck, who were natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio re^ 
spectively, the former born on the 26th of July, 1829, and the latter in the year 
1833. Their marriage was celebrated in Decatur, Illinois, in 1853. Leaving 
the Keystone state, the paternal grandparents of our subject removed to Ohio, 
whence they came to Illinois in 1839. Peter Beck, the grandfather, was an agri- 
culturist by occupation and in 1847 ne located on a quarter section of land in 
Harristown township, this county. He erected a house and improved his farm, 
devoting his energies to its operation until the time of his removal to Kansas, 
when he disposed of the property. His remaining days were spent in the Sun- 
flower state. John Beck, the father of Peter O. Beck, was a lad of ten years 
when he came to this state with his parents and here he has resided continuously 
since with the exception of the period of fourteen years which he spent in Mis- 
souri. He now makes his home with our subjecet and is well known as one of 
the esteemed and venerable citizens of the community, having passed the eighty- 
first milestone on life's journey. His wife was called to her final rest in March, 
1904. 

Peter O. Beck attended the public schools in the acquirement of an educa- 
tion and early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of 
the agriculturist as he assisted his father in the operation of the home farm. The 
pursuits of farming and stock-raising have claimed his attention throughout his 
entire business career and have brought to him a gratifying annual income. Since 
1900 he has resided in Long Creek township, where he cultivates rented land, 
operating the Hill estate of three hundred and five acres and also an adjoining 
tract of eighty acres. 

In November, 1880, Mr. Beck was joined in wedlock to Miss Maria Hop- 
kins of Macon county, her parents being William and Ann Hopkins who 



268 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

were natives of Ohio and Virginia respectively. The father, who took 
up his abode among the early settlers of this county, followed farming as 
a means of livelihood. He passed away in 1897 but is still survived by his wi.fe. 
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Beck have been born the following children : A. C, who is 
now the wife of Charles Kemp ; Edna, who gave her hand in marriage to Lester 
Carmeau ; William F., whose birth occurred November 27, 1885, and who is now 
a resident of Kansas; Orville E., whose natal day was February 16, 1889; Mil- 
lard Vernon, who was born on the 9th of May, 1890; Fleeta L.; Maggie, who 
died May 7, 1904; Lester Earl, whose birth occurred February 28, 1900; and 
three who died in infancy. 

Mr. Beck gives his political allegiance to the democracy and has ably served 
his fellow townsmen as commissioner of highways and also as tax collector, 
holding the latter office for two years. Fraternally he is identified with the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, while 
in religious faith he is a Methodist. He is well and favorably known through- 
out the community and the qualities which have made him popular are such as 
win confidence and command esteem in every land and clime. 



GEORGE E. MOELLER. 

George E. Moeller is one of the well known citizens of Decatur and a pro- 
gressive business man, who is an officer in one of the important manufacturing 
enterprises of the city, being secretary and treasurer of the Decatur Coffin Com- 
pany. He was born at Somerset, Ohio, May 1, 1858, and is a son of Otto H. 
and Eliza J. (Pardee) Moeller, the former a native of Chambersburg, Pennsyl- 
vania, and the father of Somerset, Ohio. The father was one of a family of seven- 
teen children by two marriages, all of whom were brought up together and grew 
to maturity. He was engaged in the drug business in Somerset, and became 
one of the pioneer druggists of Decatur, removing to this city in 1859, where he 
died less than a year after his arrival. While in his native state he promoted 
a railroad through the Hocking valley, to extend from New Lexington to Somer- 
set, and it is now a part of the system of the Pennsylvania Railroads. The 
mother departed this life in February, 1909, in the eighty-sixth year of her age. 
Six children were born to them, five of whom are now living: Mrs. O. A. Alex- 
ander, of Decatur; Mrs. A. M. Lapham, of St. Louis, Missouri; William J., of 
Decatur; Louis K., of Galena, Kansas; and George E., the subject of this review. 

Educated in the public and high schools of Decatur, George E. Moeller be- 
gan business life in the local postoffice, under Captain R. P. Lytle, as mailing 
clerk in 1877. After three years of valuable experience in this line he became 
traveling salesman for the Decatur Coffin Company and continued upon the road 
for about fifteen years. Having purchased stock in the company, he was elected 
its vice president in 1897 and upon the death of O. Z. Greene, president, in 1910, 
became secretary and treasurer, in which positions he has since continued. This 
company is one of the largest concerns of the kind in Illinois, being conducted 
upon the most approved business principles, so that it gives promise of steadily 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 269 

increasing patronage as the years pass. Mr. Moeller has attained his present 
responsible position by his earnestness, unquestioned honesty and willingness 
to work. His first experience with the great world was as a newsboy, while 
attending school. In fact, he was ready for any odd job that presented and thus 
he made a start that carried him through to success. 

Oh April 23, 1891, Mr. Moeller was united in marriage to Miss Laura A. 
Ayers, of Jacksonville, Illinois, and three children have been born to them, Helen 
A., George A. and Sydney D. The family now occupy a beautiful residence at 
No. 890 West William street. It is one of the most attractive homes in Decatur 
and represents in an important degree the energy and wisely directed persever- 
ance of its owner, who has attained a deserved standing as one of the leading 
men of the city. In the past few years Mr. Moeller has added much to Decatur 
in buildings and houses, having build a dozen or more store buildings and resi- 
dences at a cost of sixty thousand dollars. Socially he is identified with the 
Country Club. He is a valued member of the First Presbyterian church, in 
which he is serving as elder, and his life has been such as to commend him to 
the confidence and esteem of all who know him. 



WILLIAM S. WHITEHOUSE. 

William S. Whitehouse, a retired agriculturist of Mount Zion township, 
has been a resident of Macon county for almost two-thirds of a century and 
throughout his active business career successfully carried on the pursuits of 
farming and stock-raising. His birth occurred in Washington county, Virginia, 
on the 3d of January, 1834, his parents being George and Nancy (McCall) 
Whitehouse. The father was born in Ohio on the 27th of June, 1793, while the 
mother was a native of Virginia. In January, 1835, they took up their abode 
in Bartholomew county, Indiana, where the family home was maintained for 
eleven years or until 1846, which year witnessed their arrival in Macon county, 
Illinois. In the meantime, however, the father had passed away, his demise occur- 
ring in the Hoosier state in 1840. He was a tanner by trade but abandoned that 
occupation to become identified with general agricultural pursuits. On coming 
to Macon county Mrs. Whitehouse located on a farm of eighty acres, the 
boundaries of which she later exntended by additional purchase. She died in 
Macon county in 1876. 

William S. Whitehouse, who was a lad of twelve years at the time of his 
arrival in this county, attended the district schools until fifteen years of age 
and then began providing for his own support by working at farm labor. In 
1862 he started out as an agriculturist on his own account, purchasing one 
hundred and fifteen acres of land on section 6, Mount Zion township. The log 
cabin which stood on the property and which the family occupied for some 
years after their arrival here has since been replaced by a more modern structure, 
our subject having erected a substantial up-to-date and attractive residence. 
The work of the fields claimed his attention throughout his active business 
career and in connection with the tilling of the soil he also devoted considerable 



270 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

time to the raising of stock, meeting with success in both undertakings. He 
is now spending the evening of life in honorable retirement, enjoying the fruits 
of his former toil in well earned ease. 

Mr. Whitehouse has been married twice. In December, 1879, ne wedded 
Miss Elizabeth Belle, a daughter of Andy and Lucinda Belle, of Macon county. 
Her father was a native of Kentucy and followed farming as a life work. Will- 
iam S. and Elizabeth Whitehouse were the parents of a daughter, Goldie Pearl, 
who died when twenty-six years of age, leaving two children: William Russell 
and Goldie Fern Broughton, who are twelve and ten years of age respectively. 
Mr. Whitehouse lost his first wife in 1882 and three years later wedded Mrs. 
Ellen House nee Scott, of Indiana. 

Politically Mr. Whitehouse is a stalwart advocate of the democracy and his 
fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to positions, 
of public trust. He served as assessor of Mount Zion township for five terms 
and for three terms has acted as a school director, ever discharging his official 
duties in a most prompt and capable manner. In religious faith he is a Presby- 
terian. He has continuously resided in Macon county since boyhood and is, 
therefore, familiar with its development from pioneer times down to the present, 
having aided in the arduous toil which brought about the wonderful transforma- 
tion that is everywhere apparent in this part of the state. 



HENRY C. BOWER. 



More than a century ago George Washington said that farming is the most 
useful as well as the most honorable occupation of man, and the statement is 
as true today as it was when uttered. Agriculture is the basis of all success, 
and no nation is really prosperous that does not found its progress upon the 
fruits of the soil. Mr. Bower is numbered among those who are engaged in 
farming in Whitmore township, where he owns and cultivates a valuable tract 
of land adjoining Oreana, which is situated on section 9, and in its thrifty ap- 
pearance gives every evidence of the careful supervision of a practical owner. 

Mr. Bower was born in Scott county, Illinois, June io, 1845, and is a son 
of John R. Bower, a native of Kentucky, whose father was the Rev. Jacob 
Bower. The latter was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, September 26, 
1786, and removed from the east to Kentucky. He was a minister of the Bap- 
tist church, and became a pioneer preacher of Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. 
For some time he lived in Scott county, Illinois, and his last years were spent 
in Macon county. 

Jno. R. Bower came to Illinois about 1833, settling in Scott county, four 
miles west of Winchester, where he purchased land and opened up a farm of 
about one hundred acres. He cultivated that tract for a number of years and 
afterward sold out. He then came to Macon county about 1855, taking up his 
abode in Whitmore township, where he purchased one hundred and seventy 
acres of land, of which ten acres were timber. He broke the sod and developed 
the fields and afterward added to his holdings by the purchase of an additional 




MR. AXI> MRS. H. C. BOWER AND DAUGH 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 273 

tract of timber land of twenty acres. For some years he lived upon the place 
and put fair improvements upon it. Subsequently, however, he sold that farm 
and removed to Clinton, Illinois, where he died on the ioth of June, 1887, at 
the age of seventy-six years and eight months. He had for some time survived 
his wife, who passed away in 1868. In their family were three sons and three 
daughters: J. M., now living in Pasadena, California; G. M., of Mount Vernon, 
South Dakota; Henry C, of this review; Malvina, the wife of J. T. Green, of 
White Hall, Illinois; and two daughters who are now deceased. 

Henry C. Bower was a little lad of ten years when he came to Macon 
county, living on the farm adjoining his present home. He assisted his father 
in the arduous task of developing and improving the land, and gave to his 
father the benefit of his services until he had attained his majority. He then 
began farming on his own account on the place on which he now resides. He 
started here with eighty acres of land, which he placed under the plow and 
fenced with rail, wire and plank fencing. Subsequently he erected a good resi- 
dence, also a large barn and substantial sheds and cribs. He likewise added to 
the productiveness of his fields by tiling the land, and he planted an orchard 
and set out forest trees, thus supplying both fruit and shade. In fact, he con- 
tinued his work along progressive lines until he had developed a good farm, 
devoted to the raising of stock and grain. In 1873, when the Illinois Central 
Railroad was built through this district, he laid out the town of Oreana, giving 
to the railroad the right of way and every other lot along the line. He aftei - 
ward laid out a second addition to the town. Investing in land elsewhere, he 
became the owner of two hundred and twenty-six acres in Pratt and Seward 
counties, Kansas, and he now has one hundred and forty-six acres in Pratt, 
which is an improved tract, and also forty acres in Davison county, South Da- 
kota. He started out in life empty-handed, and his success has logically fol- 
lowed his perseverance, determination and intelligently directed labor. 

On the 18th of July, 1875, Mr. Bower was married in Whitmore township 
to Miss Elizabeth Ann Shastid, a native of Pike county, Illinois, who was 
brought to Macon county in her childhood. Her father, J. S. Shastid, was a 
native of Kentucky, and on coming to Illinois settled first in Pike county and 
later removed to Piatt county, whence he came to Macon county. Mrs. Bower 
was largely reared and educated in Macon county, completing a course in the 
Decatur high school, after which she successfully followed the profession of 
teaching for ten years, becoming recognized as one of the most capable and 
efficient educators of the county. Not only was she a most intelligent lady, but 
also one whose kindly heart and cordial manner won her the friendship and 
warm regard of many. She died in this county September 25, 1903, and was 
laid to rest in Union cemetery. By her marriage she had become the mother 
of two children, but the first born, Albert Clark, had died at the age of four 
months. Rosa Olive is now the wife of Lee Ragsdale, a well known farmer 
of Whitmore township, by whom she has a daughter, Helen Elizabeth Rags- 
dale. 

In politics Mr. Bower is an earnest republican, supporting the party ever 
since casting his first vote for General Grant in 1868. He has served as town- 
ship tax collector, but has never desired office. Since 1858 he has been a de- 



274 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

voted member of the Baptist church and now holds membership with the church 
of that denomination in Oreana, of which he served as deacon for several years 
and also as church trustee and treasurer. He has likewise acted as superin- 
tendent of the Sunday school for some years, and was superintendent of the 
home department of the County Sunday School Association for a number of 
years. He promoted the movement that resulted in the organization of the 
county association, and has ever been actively and helpfully interested in this 
particular branch of church work, realizing the fact that "train the child up 
in the way he shall go and when he is old he will not depart from it." For 
fifty-five years Mr. Bower has lived in Macon county and its history is, there- 
fore, largely familiar to him. He has seen much of the growth of Decatur 
and the development of this part of the state, and in many ways has aided sub- 
stantially in advancing the welfare and upbuilding of this section. His life, 
too, honorable and upright at all times, has commended him to the confidence 
and good will of those who know him, and as the years have passed he has 
made a most creditable record as a business man and citizen and in the social 
relations of life. 



FRED KRASCHEL. 



Fred Kraschel, who since March, 1908, has lived retired in Macon, was for 
many years actively and successfully identified with general agricultural pursuits 
in this county and still owns one hundred and sixty acres of rich and productive 
land here. His birth occurred in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, on the 27th 
of January, 1842. He lost his father when a little lad of about seven years and in 
1856 accompanied his mother on her emigration to the new world, settling in 
Tonawanda, Erie county, New York. At the end of nine years he left the 
Empire state and in 1865 took up his abode in Hardin county, Illinois, there 
purchasing forty acres of land, to the cultivation of which he devoted his 
attention until 1871. In that year he disposed of the property and came to 
Macon county, buying and locating upon a tract of eighty acres. As his financial 
resources increased, owing to his untiring industry and capable management, he 
extended the boundaries of his farm by additional purchase and at the present 
time owns one hundred and sixty acres of valuable land in this county. In addition 
to cultivating the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he also devoted con- 
siderable attention to stock-raising, making a specialty of Duroc Jersey hogs. 
His undertakings as a farmer and stockman proved profitable and in March, 
1908, he put aside the active work of the fields, having won a competence that 
made further recourse to labor unnecessary. For the past two years he has 
lived retired in Macon, enjoying the fruits of his former toil in well earned 
ease. 

Mr. Kraschel has been married twice. In 1865 he wedded Miss Annie 
Sandman, of Illinois, by whom he had five children. The only surviving child, 
however, is Rosa, a resident of Macon county, who is now the wife of William 
Eckhardt and has seven children. Mrs. Annie Kraschel passed away in June, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 275 

1 87 1, and on the 2d of January, 1874, our subject was again married, his second 
union being with Miss Nancy Jane Poe, who was born December 23, 1851, 
She was the eldest of ten children born unto Frank and Elizabeth Poe, natives 
of Tennessee. By his second wife Mr. Kraschel had five children, the record 
of whom is as follows: Melvin A., whose natal day was October 7, 1874, wedded 
Miss Jessie L. Bromley, of Macon, Illinois, by whom he has four children, and 
the family reside near Macon. Theodore F., whose birth occurred April 23, 
1876, died when sixteen years of age. Ella E., born March 1, 1878, gave her 
hand in marriage to Charles Carr, of Missouri, and now resides near Macon. 
Hattie E., whose birth occurred December 6, 1884, passed away August 6, 
1887. Nelson G., whose natal day was October 27, 1889, is still under the parental 
roof. 

Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Kraschel has 
supported the men and measures of the democracy. He has served as road com- 
missioner for a term and a half and for eight years acted as a school director, ever 
discharging his official duties in a most prompt and capable manner. Fraternally 
he is identified with Beacon Lodge, No 434, K. P. His religious faith is indicated 
by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church of Macon, to which his wife 
also belongs. The period of his residence in this county covers almost four 
decades and he is well known and highly esteemed as a substantial and represen- 
tative citizen. 



H. B. WILSON. 



Holding to high ideals in his profession, Professor H. B. Wilson, city 
superintendent of schools, has done much not only to advance educational inter- 
ests in Decatur but also through published articles and volumes has stimulated 
interest and activity among the representatives of the profession at large. He 
was born in Frankfort, Clinton county, Indiana, July 26, 1874. His father, E. 
B. Wilson, was a farmer and educator, who engaged in teaching school for 
about eighteen years. He also served as county assessor for Clinton county for 
one term, and was identified with agricultural interests in that community. He 
married Miss Mary E. Norris, and for many years they were numbered among 
the valued and respected citizens of Clinton county, but in 1897 Mr. Wilson was 
called to his final rest. His widow still survives and now make her home in 
Frankfort, Indiana. 

Professor Wilson, who is the eldest of four living children in his father's 
family, acquired his early education in the district schools of his native county, 
and afterward attended the high school of Colfax, Indiana. He was graduated 
from the Indiana State Normal School with the class of 1895,. and ten years later 
won the Bachelor of Arts degree in the Indiana University. In 1910 Columbia 
University conferred upon him the Master of Arts degree. All of his degrees 
were taken for the purpose of advancement in his work. He did not regard 
his education complete when he left the normal school, but improved every 
opportunity for progress and thus promoted his efficiency in his chosen calling. 



276 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

For two years he engaged in teaching in the district schools of Clinton county, 
Indiana, after which he was appointed principal of the high school at Salem, 
Indiana, and two years later was made city superintendent of schools in Salem, 
filling that position for five years. For a similar period he was superintendent 
of schools in Franklin, Indiana, and in August, 1907, he was appointed super- 
intendent of the Decatur City schools and clerk of the board of education. 
There is now under construction a magnificent high school building, the com- 
bined cost of building, grounds and equipment being two hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars. This will acommodate one thousand pupils and from thirty 
to thirty-six teachers will be employed. This work has been accomplished 
through his efforts alone and he certainly deserves much credit therefor. He 
now has charge of sixteen different schools, where are employed 147 teachers, 
with an average attendance of fifty-five hundred, while eight thousand are en- 
rolled. Professor Wilson has constantly sought out new methods to improve 
the schools and raise the standard of instruction, and to stimulate the interest 
of the pupils that their preparation for life's work as secured in the school- 
room may be thorough and comprehensive. 

Professor Wilson is a member of the Illinois School Masters Club, the 
Central Teachers Association, the Illinois State Teachers Association and the 
National Educational Association. He likewise belongs to the Black Cat Club, 
of Columbia University, which has an elective membership of only those who 
are considered strong in educational affairs. In addition to printing reports 
and courses of study written for the systems of schools where he has been 
superintendent, he is the author of the following articles and volumes which are 
certainly worthy of mention: "A Course in Nature Study for the Common 
Schools of Indiana" — Report of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Indiana, 
1902, pp. 87-140; "School Garden Work in Indiana" — Report of Superintendent 
of Public Instruction, Indiana, 1904, pp. 416-428; "The Value of Physical Train- 
ing in Modern Education" — The Educator Journal, Indianapolis, Vol. VI pp. 
325-328, 368-371, 416-419; "The Relation of the High School Course to the 
Students' Life Problems" — School Review, Vol. XVI, pp. 469-474; "The Prob- 
lem of Professional Training for High School Teachers" — The Western Journal 
of Education, Vol. Ill, pp. 49-60; "The Possibility of Training Children to 
Study" — Proceedings Fifty-Sixth Annual Meeting, Illinois State Teachers As- 
sociation, pp. 173-175; "The Beginning of Medical Inspection in Illinois" — 
Proceedings Fifty-Sixth Annual Meeting, Illinois State Teachers Association, 
pp. 196-200; "Grading and Promotion of Pupils" — Proceedings of National 
Educational Association, Vol. for 1910; "The Motivation of the Children's Work 
in the Elementary Schools" — Proceedings of National Education Association, 
Vol. for 1910; "Some Things the Normal School Seeks to do for its Students" 
— Indiana State Normal School Anniversary Volume of President Parson's 
Twenty-five Years of Service; "Grammer Grades in a Central Building" — 
Schools and Home Education, Vol. XXIX, 324-325 ; "The Cooperative Method 
of Developing the Course of Study" — Master's Thesis, Bryson Library, Colum- 
bia University of New York City. 

On the 10th of June, 1896, Professor Wilson was married to Miss Maude 
Barnes, of Michigantown, Clinton county, Indiana, and they have two children, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 277 

Dean Bruce and Harriet Maud. Professor and Mrs. Wilson are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal church and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which 
he has attained the Knight Templar degree. He is found where the intelligent 
men of the city are wont to gather in the discussion of vital problems, and 
association with him means expansion and elevation. 



SAMUEL SMETTERS. 



The ranks of the Grand Army veterans are fast becoming thinned as one 
by one the old soldiers answer the last call and bivouac on the other side. Among 
those in Macon county who are still active factors in the world's work, however, 
is Samuel Smetters who for years was actively engaged in general agricultural pur- 
suits and owned and cultivated a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Friends 
Creek township. He has lived in this county since 1870 and in Illinois since 
1844. He was a little lad in his ninth year at the time of his arrival in this 
state, his birth having occurred in Fairfield county, Ohio, on the 18th of October, 
1835. His father, Daniel Smetters, was a native of Pennsylvania, whence he 
removed to the Buckeye state and was there married to Miss Maria Kunkle, 
who was likewise born in Pennsylvania. In the year 1844 he went with his 
family to Illinois, settling in Jacksonville, where he spent the winter and later 
located upon a farm in that locality. Afterward Sangamon county numbered 
him among the representatives of its agricultural interests and there he reared 
his family and spent his remaining days, his death occurring in that county in 
1862. His wife survived him for about ten years, passing away in 1872. 

From the age of eight years Samuel Smetters, of this review, was reared in 
Morgan and Sangamon counties, and his experiences were those which usually 
fall to the lot of the farm boy who in the periods of vacation finds is necessary 
to aid in the work of the fields. In 1862 the critical condition of the country 
aroused his patriotic spirit and he enlisted at Springfield, joining Company B 
of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, with which command he went south to Missouri 
and later to Arkansas. He was first under fire at Little Rock and was also 
engaged in scouting duty in that locality. He likewise participated in the battle 
of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, and was engaged with the army in the movements 
in the southwest for some time. Following the surrender of General Lee and the 
cessation of hostilities he was honorably discharged at New Orleans, Louisiana, 
on the 10th of June, 1865. 

Immediately thereafter Mr. Smetters returned home and quietly resumed the 
pursuits of farm life, working on a farm with his brother for two or three 
years. In 1870 he came to Macon county, settling in Friends Creek township, 
where he purchased two hundred and forty acres of land. This was a partially 
improved tract of which he afterward sold eighty acres. His attention was 
then given to the cultivation and further development of the remaining one 
hundred and sixty acres in the midst of which he erected a comfortable resi- 
dence and also built good barns and sheds, thus affording ample shelter for 
grain and stock. He also divided the farm into fields of convenient size by well 



278 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

kept fences and added to the productiveness of his land by tilling. The crops 
which he gathered indicated his intelligent methods of cultivating the fields and 
he continued his work with good success until 1902, also raising and feeding 
stock in addition to cultivating the crops. He made a specialty of raising and 
fattening hogs, selling a large number each year. In 1902, however, he leased 
his farm and purchased a home in Argenta where he has since resided. After 
renting his land for six years he concluded to sell, disposing of the farm in 
1908. 

On the 5th of March, 1873, in Macon county, Mr. Smetters was married to 
Mrs. Priscilla Jimison, nee Anderson. She was a widow and had two children 
by her former marriage: Henry L. Jimison, now of Colorado; and Ellen, the 
wife of C. F. James, also living in that state. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs 
Smetters has been blessed with a son and daughter : George W., who is married 
and also makes his home in Colorado; and Eliza, the wife of John Westerman, 
a farmer of Whitmore township, Macon county. 

While at national elections Mr. Smetters votes for the candidates of the 
republican party, he does not consider it incumbent on him to vote for its local 
candidates and in exercising his right of franchise supports the men whom he 
believes best qualified for office. While on the farm he served as road com- 
missioner and was also a member of the school board for eighteen years. He 
has practically been a lifelong resident of Illinois and is greatly attached to 
the state, the development of which he has largely witnessed. He has seen its 
towns grow into flourishing cities, its lands taken up and improved, while year 
by year the work of its agriculturalists has caused it to forge ahead so that 
today Illinois leads other states in many respects. At all times Mr. Smetters 
has been a careful and conservative business man, trustworthy in his dealings, 
loyal in his citizenship and faithful to the duties of home and friendship. 



GEORGE S. PHILLIPS. 

George S. Phillips, who since 1909 has been employed by the Ilinois Central 
Railroad as station agent at Macon, was born in this county on the 22d of 
January, 1883, his parents being Robert N. and Jennie (Slack) Phillips, natives 
of Ohio and Illinois respectively. The father, who was the third in order of 
birth in a family of seven children, obtained his education in the public schools 
of the Buckeye state and after putting aside his text-books learned the painter's 
trade in Cincinnati, working at that occupation throughout almost his entire 
business career. In 1862 he enlisted for service in the Union army as a member 
of Company B, Seventeenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry, remaining with that 
command for three years and being mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 
in May, 1865. He participated in the battle of Pea Ridge but his regiment was 
principally engaged in fighting bushwhackers in Missouri and Kansas. At the 
present time both he and his wife are living in Macon, Illinois, and they are 
well known and highly esteemed throughout the community as people of genuine 
personal worth. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 279 

George S. Phillips, who is the eldest of three children born unto his parents, 
attended the public schools of Macon and completed the high school course in 
1902. Immediately afterward he began the study of telegraphy with the agent 
at Macon and before the expiration of a year was employed by the Illinois Cen- 
tral Railroad as operator at Litchfield. He worked all over the Springfield 
division of that company until 1905, when he was assigned regularly as operator 
at Assumption, Illinois there remaining until 1909. In that year he was appointed 
agent at Macon and has since held the position, his courtesy and obliging manner 
toward the patrons of the road and his careful watchfulness over the interests 
of the company which he represents making him a valued employe. 

In 1906 Mr. Phillips was united in marriage to Miss Flora Hofmann, of 
Clinton, whose birth occurred on the 7th of March, 1883. They now have 
three children, namely : Leone whose natal day was September 5, 1907 ; and Leah 
and Leota, twins, who were born on the 24th of October, 1908. 

When national questions and issues are involved Mr. Phillips supports the 
democracy but at local elections casts an independent ballot, voting for the candi- 
date whom he believes best qualified without regard to party affiliation. His 
religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church of 
Macon, with which his wife is also identified. He enjoys a wide and favorable 
acquaintance throughout the community and his many friends believe that a 
bright future lies before him. 



ECKHARDT C. STEIN. 

Eckhardt C. Stein, president and general manager of the Decatur Model 
Laundry, in which connection his business enterprise and sagacity have been 
instrumental in building up a business of large and profitable proportions, was 
born in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, on the 4th of October, 1858. His parents, 
Henry and Christina (Weyfahrt) Stein, were natives of Hesse-Darmstadt, 
Germany, and in their youth crossed the Atlantic to Canada, where they were 
married in Waterloo. Later they removed to their country home in North 
Easthope township of Perth. The father was a successful business man, 
conducting an extensive business as a general builder and contractor, engaging 
largely in brick and stone construction. The family numbered two daughters 
and three sons, of whom the youngest died in infancy. The parents are now 
residents of Berlin, Canada, and the father, having retired from business, is 
spending his days quietly in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil. 

After attending school until seventeen years of age, Eckhardt C. Stein be- 
gan learning the furniture finishing business, which he followed for four years, 
when he turned his attention to the miller's trade at Wellesley, Waterloo county, 
Canada. The year 1884 witnessed his arrival in Decatur and for a year there- 
after he worked in a furniture factory but at the end of that time embarked in 
business on his own account in connection with William Lewis, establishing 
a feed store. After he became a partner of B. A. Brookshire, in the laundry 
business at No. 147 South Water street. This relation was maintained for two 



280 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

years, when Mr. Brookshire sold his interest to H. F. Ehrman, who sometime 
afterward also purchased the interest of Mr. Stein. The latter then became associ- 
ated with John H. Rainey and they purchased a laundry, owned by the firm of 
Fleming & Company. Later F. H. Whitmer became owner of a laundry at No. 
147 South Water street and Messrs. Stein, Rainey & Whitmer consolidated 
both plants under the name of the Decatur Model Laundry Company, 
located at its present quarters. He is now president and general manager of 
the company. After the retirement of Mr Rainey the business was in- 
corporated October 28, 1899, and was reorganized and reincorporated on the 
26th of October, 1900. Over fifty people are now employed and the laundry 
is the largest in the city. It has been built up chiefly through the efforts and 
business ability of Mr. Stein in his capacity as president and general manager, 
and the company today has a most complete and well equipped plant, while the 
excellence of the work turned out insures a continuance of a liberal patronage. 
Mr. Stein has been very successful in his business life, for he started out empty- 
handed and is today not only at the head of an extensive industrial enterprise 
but is also the owner of much valuable real estate, including a nice home at No. 
1035 West Main street. 

In August, 1887 occurred the marriage of Mr. Stein and Miss Magdalena 
Fretus, of Argenta, whose parents, William and Magdalena (Getz) Fretus, were 
well-to-do people of that locality. They were natives of Germany and became 
early residents of Macon county. The father is now deceased but the mother 
still survives and makes her home in Decatur. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Stein have 
been born a son and four daughters : Martin, who is now assisting his father in 
the laundry; Emily, Beatha, Lauda, and Paula, at home. 

The parents are members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church, in the 
work of which they are actively interested, contributing liberally to its support. 
In politics Mr. Stein is republican, for he believes that he finds in the principles 
of the party platform the best elements of good government. He has now 
resided in Decatur for more than a quarter of a century, within which 
period he has firmly established himself in a creditable and enviable position as 
a capable and successful business man. 



FREDERICK J. WALTER. 

Industrial activity in Decatur finds a worthy representative in Frederick J. 
Walter, conducting a general contracting business, his work including cement 
walks, steps and cellar floors, while making a specialty of concrete block work. 
His ability in this direction and his business integrity have brought him a gratify- 
ing patronage that crowns his labors with substantial success. He was born in 
Clermont county, Ohio, July 19, 1869, and is a son of John and Martha Walter. 
The father, a native of Kentucky, was of German lineage and the mother was 
born in Germany. The father devoted his life to commercial pursuits, conducting 
a general mercantile store at Batavia, Ohio, where he established his home on his 




FREDERICK J.WAI/TEK 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY ^83 

removal from Kentucky about 1850. He died when his son Frederick was but a 
year old, and eighteen months later the mother also passed away. 

The boy, thus left an orphan, was taken to the German Lutheran Orphan 
Home at Cincinnati and while there living attended the public schools but pur- 
sued his studies only to the age of twelve years, when he was taken to a farm, 
whereon he remained for five years, working diligently in the fields throughout 
that period, his compensation being one hundred dollars in money, his board and 
clothes. However, he remained two more years in active farm work and after- 
ward was employed in various positions in Cincinnati during a period of six 
months. The year 1884 witnessed his arrival in Decatur. He came to Macon 
county to work on the farm of John Ullrich, who owned a large place near Lov- 
ington and who was a relative of Mr. Walter's mother. He remained in Mr. 
Ullrich's employ for two years and then returned to Decatur, where he was 
employed in conection with cement and concrete work. After two years he went 
to Birmingham, Alabama, and was employed for six months in the large roller 
mills located near that city. Afterward in Nashville, Tennessee, he did cement 
and concrete work for the Nashville Roofing Company, with which he was con- 
nected for a year and a half, when he became a resident of Richmond, Virginia, 
where he worked for two years at tiling and roofing. He was next at Charlottes- 
ville, Virginia, where he established and conducted a concrete contracting busi- 
ness. In this he met with success during the three years of his residence there, 
after which he returned to Decatur. 

The purpose of his visit to this city was to wed Miss Josie Rich, whom he 
married on the 22d of February, 1894. She is a daughter of Jesse B. Rich, a 
well known minister of the Christian church now living retired. There are two 
children of this marriage, Loraine E., born February 6, 1897; and Harold B., 
born August 13, 1899. 

After the wedding festivities were over Mr. Walter returned with his bride to 
Charlottesville, where he continued in business for two years, and then came 
again to Decatur, where he purchased a photographic studio, which he conducted 
for about five years. He then sold out to a Chicago firm and turned his attention 
to general contracting and the manufacture of concrete blocks. In this he has 
been very successful and has erected many residences and other buildings from 
concrete blocks of his manufacture. He has also built frame and brick residences, 
which he sells on the easy payment plan, and as a speculative builder he has con- 
tributed not only to his own success but has also enabled many to gain homes of 
their own through the plan which he arranges for payments. He has done much 
work in laying cement walks, steps and cellar floors and the liberal patronage 
accorded him is proof of his ability as well as business integrity. His prosperity 
also indicates close application and determination, diligence and careful manage- 
ment on his part, for he started out in life empty-handed and with few of the 
advantages that most boys enjoy. He is now the owner of considerable real estate 
in Decatur. 

Mr. Walter belongs to the Masonic fraternity, having joined Jefferson Lodge 
in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is one of the oldest Masonic lodges in the 
United States. He likewise holds membership with the Royal Neighbors and the 
White Cross and his wife is an enthusiastic memebr of the Eastern Star and 



284 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

White Shrine. They belong to the Edward Street Christian church, in which he 
is serving as a trustee, and his political allegiance is given to the republican party. 
His influence has always been on the side of progress, reform and improvement, 
and in a quiet but nevertheless effective way he has contributed to the moral and 
political as well as the material welfare of his adopted city. 



james Mclaughlin hill. 

James McLaughlin Hill, deceased, who for many years was prominently 
identified with the farming interests of Macon county and owner of six hundred 
and eighty acres of land in Harristown township, was born in Westmoreland 
county, Pennsylvania, September 15, 1821. He was a son of George and Eliza 
(McLaughlin) Hill and came to Illinois in his boyhood with his parents, who 
settled on a farm near Ottawa. Here he grow up and became acquainted with 
the operations of the farm, gaining such education as was available in the rude 
log schoolhouse of the pioneer days. After arriving at manhood he removed 
to Morgan county and there on December 28, 1845, he was married to Miss 
Martha Helen Hoagland, who was born near Lexington, Kentucky, June 13, 
1827. She was a daughter of Martin and Maria (Conover) Hoagland and 
came in her childhood to Morgan county with her parents, where her father 
engaged in farming. At the time of her marriage to Mr. Hill she was owner 
of land which she inherited from the family estate. This land they disposed of 
and Mr. and Mrs. Hill then removed to Cass county, locating near Little Indian. 
Not being entirely satisfied with the conditions in Cass county, Mr. Hill visited 
Macon county in the winter of 1863-64 and purchased six hundred and eighty 
acres of land, which became the family homestead. This land he purchased 
from Walter Turner, who had in 1859 built a barn of three stories, one 
hundred and forty feet in size, and also a residence, both of which structures 
are now standing. Some time after arriving at his new home Mr. Hill re- 
modeled the residence, adding one more room and making it one of the most 
attractive homes in the neighborhood. Here he continued as a general farmer 
and as a breeder of shorthorn cattle until 1867, when he was called from earthly 
scenes. Although he departed this life more than forty years ago he is 
remembered as a man of upright character, industrious, enterprising, large 
hearted and a friend who never betrayed a trust. He was an upholder of the 
democratic party but never sought public office, as his energy was devoted to his 
family and his business. He was an earnest and sincere member of the Chris- 
tian church and by his useful life set an example indeed worthy of emulation. 

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hill, the eldest of whom, Maria 
Eliza — named after her two grandmothers — was born October 15, 1846. She 
became the wife of John D. McGuire and for a few years lived on the home 
farm and was the mother of three children. Maude, who married Jesse E. 
Gouge and lives in Alberta, Canada, is the mother of two children : Roy Hill, who 
married Clara Tousley, and was a railroad man, who lost his life in a railway 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 285 

accident and left three children; and Claude McLaughlin, who married lone 
Doyle and now lives in Webster City, Iowa. George Martin, the second child 
of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, was born March 22, 1855, and died at home at the age 
of twenty-nine years. Helen, the third child, was born in Cass county, April 15, 
i860. She received a good education, as did her sister and brother, being a 
student for three years at the University of Illinois, the sister and brother at- 
tending Eureka College. On January 15, 1884, she became the wife of George 
F. Towne, a native of Danvers, Massachusetts, where he was born November 
6, 1858. He is a son of Daniel and Pauline (Ferguson) Towne and was reared 
to the age of sixteen in his native state, when he came to St. Louis and 
joined his brother, a manufacturer of shoes in that city. Being an ambitious 
young man and desirous of advancing as rapidly as possible, he learned the 
trade of shoe cutter in his brother's shop. Later he visited another brother in 
Champaign county, this state, where he became acquainted with farming life, 
and from the farm went to Harristown as clerk for another brother of the 
family. It was while acting in this capacity that he chose a life companion and 
he and his wife took up their home upon the old homestead which she inherited 
from her father. One child, Laura, has come to brighten the home of Mr. and 
Mrs. Towne. She was born December 10, 1888, and was graduated from the 
Decatur high school in 1906. She then spent three months at the National 
Park Seminary at Forest Glen, Maryland, near Washington, D. C, and in 
February, 1910, entered Millikin University and expects to complete her col- 
legiate education in the University of Wisconsin. 

Mr. Towne is at the present time acting as salesman for the Peoria Drill & 
Seeder Company of Peoria. He is an adherent of the republican party and the 
family hold membership in the Christian church at Harristown, of which Mr. 
Towne was formerly deacon. He is also a member of Summit Lodge, No. 431, 
A. F. & A. M., at Harristown, and has served as representative of the lodge 
in the grand lodge three years. He is greatly esteemed not only by his lodge 
brethren but by many friends whom he has made as a business man rind citizen. 



HENRY MARTIN. 



Many brave men who wore the blue when the Union was in danger are yet 
with us although nearly half a century has elapsed since the great conflict began 
which involved four years of terrific contest and a vast sacrifice of human life. 
Many of these soldiers left the farm like Cincinnatus of old, returning to the 
plow after peace again spread her wings over the land. Among the number was 
Henry Martin, who is now living retired in this county and who is numbered 
among its honored citizens. He was born in Pickaway county, Ohio, in Septem- 
ber, 1838, and is a son of William and Comfort (Hopkins) Martin, both of 
whom were natives of Ohio. The father was born in 1800. He lived for a 
number of years in Circleville, Ohio, engaging in the commission business, but 
later moved with his family to Cincinnati and in 1849, came to Illinois, where 



286 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

he dealt in land and grain. He continued in this state until his death in 1879. 
Mrs. Martin was born in 1803, and was the mother of eight children three of 
whom are now living: William, Henry, and Mrs. Jane Johns. 

The subject of this review was educated in the pay schools of Ohio and 
came with his parents to this state when he was twelve years of age. Here he 
grew to manhood and became interested in the management of different farms 
with which his father was connected. On the 21st of April, 1861, he enlisted in 
the Eighth Illinois Infantry, and in September of the same year reenlisted in 
Company I, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, continuing in the field until he was dis- 
charged for disability in October, 1862. Returning home, he became restored 
to health and in September, 1863, rejoined Company I, Seventh Illinois Cavalry, 
under Colonel William Pitt Kellogg, serving in many important engagements 
in the south, and he was honorably discharged November 4, 1865. Resuming 
operations as a farmer, in which he attained a commendable degree of success, 
he finally took up his residence upon the father's farm in Hickory Point town- 
ship, where his father had erected a dwelling and outbuildings and where our 
subject set out trees and hedges. Here he continued until about 1900, since 
which time he has rented most of the farm and is enjoying a well earned rest. 

In February, 1871, Mr. Martin was united in marriage to Miss Caroline 
Colladay, a daughter of Jacob W. and Julia (Stull) Colladay, both natives of 
Philadelphia, who came to this state and settled in Macon county. Six children 
of Mr. and Mrs. Colladay are now living. 

Mr. Martin has been a lifelong supporter of the republican party, believing 
that the party which was mainly instrumental in saving the Union is best adapted 
to perpetuate the principles upon which the republic is founded. For the past 
six years he has filled the office of justice of the peace, exercising a rare judg- 
ment in his official capacity, which has met the approval of the entire community. 
Socially he is identified with Decatur Post, No. 141, Grand Army of the Republic. 
He is enjoying a prosperity which is the result of many years of careful manage- 
ment and which should be the lot of all who practiced self-denial in earlier 
years, thus accumulating a competence for later life. A public-spirited citizen, 
Mr. Martin is respected by the people of the entire region where he is known. 
He is largely a self-made man, and as he can always be depended upon to do 
exactly as he promises, he justly merits the confidence of all who know him. 



CHARLES EDWARD LEONARD. 

Charles Edward Leonard, a respected farmer and live-stock raiser of Harris- 
town township, Macon county, was born on a farm near Illiopolis, Illinois, March 
1, 1862. He is a son of John and Rhoda (Humphrey) Leonard, the former 
of whom was born March 9, 1829, in Roanoke county, Virginia and came to 
Illinois in 1852, settling in Sangamon county. He lived for a time near Mechan- 
icsburg, but acquired near Illiopolis a tract of land which was very wet and, there- 
fore, useless for farming purposes. In order to remove the difficulty he sent to 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 287 

Piatt county for oxen and plows by means of which he was able to make a ditch 
and the land became as productive as any in the county. Mr. Leonard was married 
in his native state before going westward and was accompanied on his journey 
by his wife and brother Samuel. He became highly successful in his farming 
operations and was the owner of seven hundred acres of land where he con- 
ducted agriculture and live-stock raising upon an extensive scale. Eight children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs Leonard, seven of whom grew to maturity : Virginia 
Ann, living in Illiopolis who married Johnson Noel, now deceased, and has six 
children; Mary Catharine, who married Henry Fait and became the mother of 
four children, and who also lives in Illiopolis ; John F., a resident of Roodhouse, 
this state, who married Nancy Thomas and is the father of ten children ; George 
D. living near Illiopolis, who married Sarah Coleman and is the father of six 
children; Charles Edward, the subject of this review; Emma Josephine, living 
in Illiopolis ; and Jessie Lee, living near Illiopolis, who married Claude Fryer and 
has become the mother of four children. Mr. Leonard the father of the family, 
was an unholder of the principles of the democratic party but never sought 
public office. He was a good and upright citizen and a stanch friend of educa- 
tion, donating ground for the district school which is now called the Leonard 
school. Religiously he accepted the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal church 
of which he was an earnest member. He was called from earthly scenes in 
March, 1910, his faithful wife having departed in February, 1908. 

Charles E. Leonard was reared upon the home farm and received his educa- 
tion at the country schoolhouse. After laying aside his books he continued to 
work upon the farm and later rented land of his father and for eighteen years 
farmed a portion of the old homestead. In February, 1904, he moved to his 
present location, on section, 18, Harristown township, where he owns one 
hundred and sixty acres which he purchased at one hundred and thirty-five 
dollars an acre. He also owns an interest in one hundred and sixty acres of 
land near Illiopolis and is recognized as one of the efficient and successful farmers 
of the township, a man of marked energy and ability who could have succeeded 
in any thing that would have engaged his attention. 

On July 16, 1887, Mr. Leonard was happily married at Springfield, Illinois, 
to Miss Hannah Collins, who was born in Springfield February 7, 1869. She is 
a daughter of Michael and Margaret (Desmond) Collins. The father was 
born in County Cork, Ireland, and the mother at Waterford, Ireland. 
Both came to America when grown and in New York they were married, 
locating in Springfield soon afterwards. Mr. Collins was identified for some 
time with the railroad business but became interested in the dairy business and 
prospered, acquiring a fine farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Sangamon 
county. Mrs. Collins was called away March 18, 1901, but her husband is now 
living with his daughter near Niantic. Eleven children have blessed the house- 
hold of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard: Charles Edwin, who was born October 11, 1888, 
and is now assisting in the work of the farm; Margaret Rhoda, born May 1, 
1890, a graduate of the high school and also a student for two terms at the 
State Normal School and two terms at Millikin University, being now a popular 
teacher in the country schools; Jessie Lee, born November 6, 1892, also a teacher 
and a graduate of the high school and a student for two terms at Millikin Univer- 



288 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

sity; Herbert, who was born January 29, 1895, and died at the age of two years, 
nine months and twenty-six days ; Paul, who died at the age of twelve years, in 
1909; John Curtis, born June 28, 1899; Erma Josephine, born July 31, 1901 ; 
Lucille Esther, born March 19, 1903 ; Mary Helen, born March 27, 1905 ; Harold 
Eugene, born July 22, 1907; and Carl, born October 27, 1909. 

Mr. Leonard has been a lifelong democrat and cast his first presidental 
ballot for Grover Cleveland in 1884. He has not sought political honors, but he 
has served most acceptably as school director of his district and for five years 
acted as road commissioner of Sangamon county, during which time he assisted 
very materially in improving the roads of the county. Socially he is affiliated 
with the Knights of Pythias, of Illiopolis, having been a charter member of that 
organization. He is also identified with Niantic Lodge, Woodmen of the World. 
Mr. Leonard has proved in all the relations of life trustworthy in the highest 
degree and as a citizen has been patriotic and public-spirited, devoting to the 
duties of public office the same interest that he bestows upon his private affairs. 
In his wife he has found a worthy assistant and loving companion whose 
presence and example have been to her husband and family an unfailing source 
of comfort and happiness. 



CHARLES WILSON MOFFITT. 

Charles Wilson Moffitt, an enterprising and properous agriculturist of 
Decatur township, resides on a well improved farm of one hundred and ninety 
acres on section 16. His birth occurred in Decatur, Macon county, Illinois, on 
the 9th of June, 1858, his parents being David C. and Eva Catherine (Wilson) 
Moffitt, who were natives of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and Circleville, Ohio, re- 
spectively. The father was the third in order of birth in a family of five 
children, while the mother was the second child born in a family of six children. 
Mr. and Mrs. David C. Moffitt came to Illinois in 1854, first locating in Piatt 
county, where they remained for two years, on the expiration of which period 
they took up their permanent abode in Macon county. The father of our subject, 
who was a brick mason and contractor by trade built the first brick structure 
ever erected in Decatur. He successfully carried on business for a number of 
years or until the time of his retirement in 1896. During the Civil war he acted 
as quartermaster of the supply station at Decatur. His political allegiance was 
given to the democracy and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and 
ability, honored him by election to positions of public trust and responsibility. 
He acted as city alderman for three terms and for one term acceptably served 
as mayor of Decatur. Fraternally he was identified with the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows. He passed away on the 1st of March, 1898, his death being 
occasioned by heart failure. His widow still survives and makes her home with 
her son. She also has four daughters, the record of whom is as follows: Ida, 
who was born April 26, 1854, gave her hand in marriage to Henry May, of 
Decatur, and passed away in 1878. Her only child, a son, died in Oklahoma in 
December, 1893. Carrie E., whose natal day was July 8, 1856, wedded Andrew 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 289 

Dempsey, of Decatur, by whom she has three children. Annie, who was born 
March 6, i860, is the wife of John I. Hanks, of Harristown, Illinois, and has 
one daughter. The other sister of our subject died in infancy. 

In his youthful years Charles W. Moffitt attended the public schools of 
Decatur and after completing his education learned the brick mason's trade under 
the direction of his father, working in partnership with him until the latter's 
retirement. He continued in business alone until 1905 and then took up his 
abode on his present farm of one hundred and ninety acres in Decatur township, 
which he had purchased in association with his father in the spring of 1894. During 
the past five years he has devoted his attention to the pursuits of general fanning 
and stock-raising, making a specialty of Poland China hogs, South Down sheep 
and shorthorn and Jersey cattle. He has won a gratifying measure of success 
in the conduct of his agricultural interests and is widely recognized as a sub- 
stantial and representative citizen of the community. 

On the 20th of November, 1894, Mr. Moffitt was united in marriage to Miss 
Grace Towle. Her parents were Frank P. and Florence (Sprague) Towle, 
natives of Virginia. They came to Illinois in pioneer times and located in Macon 
county. Mrs. Moffitt has one brother, Ralph Towle, who belongs to the United 
States army and lives at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

Mr. Moffitt is a republican in politics and is now capably serving as one of 
the highway commissioners of Decatur township. His fraternal relations are with 
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Fraternal Order of Eagles 
at Decatur. His wife is a faithful member of the Methodist church and he like- 
wise attends its services. They are well and favorably known throughout the 
county in which they have spent their entire lives and the hospitality of the 
best homes is cordially extended to them. 



WILLIAM HENRY MATHIAS. 

The man who starts on his business career with nothing to depend upon but 
a good constitution and his own native courage and ability is almost invariably 
the one who wins. He develops his inherent powers and without any effort on 
his part is justly respected by his neighbors and acquaintances. It is evident 
that William H. Mathias, of South Macon township, belongs to this class of men. 
He has worked his way from the foot of the financial ladder to a position of inde- 
pendence. It was a long, hard climb, but he had the grit and perseverance and 
when these elements are associated with patience and good management the 
end is assured. 

■Mr. Mathias is a native of Illinois, born in Moultrie county, August 30, 
1857. He is a son of Jacob and Nancy (Evans) Mathias, who came from Ohio 
to this state in early days and settled in Moultrie county. At the age of seven- 
teen the son was left to care for himself, the father having been called away and 
the mother, yielding to her sorrow, departed this life six days later. It was, 
indeed, a severe blow for a boy just approaching manhood, but the world with 



290 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

all its attractions lay before him and he bravely undertook the responsibility of 
forging his way through the difficulties with which he was surrounded. He 
began by working as a farm hand, continuing until he arrived at the age of 
twenty-eight years, when he was married and began fanning on his own account. 
Aften fifteen years of close application and good management he bought the 
farm on which he now lives in 1900 and has since engaged in general farming 
and stock-raising with a success which is well deserved, as he has brought to 
his work an energy and ability meriting generous returns. His farm of one 
hundred and twenty-three acres is one of the neatest and best appointed places 
in his part of the county, and he has reason to be proud of the reputation he 
has attained in the neighborhood as an up-to-date farmer and public-spirited 
citizen. 

In 1885 Mr. Mathias was united in marriage to Miss Delilah Cotner, a 
daughter of Judd and Jane (Adam) Cotner. She is the eldest child of a family 
of seven children. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Mathias has been blessed by the ar- 
rival of four children : Elmer, born in 1886, who married Miss Essie Manly, of 
Macon county, and is living in this county; Thomas, born in February, 1889, liv- 
ing at home; Clyde, born in July, 1896; and William, born in July, 1901. 

Politically Mr. Mathias is a sound democrat and is a strong believer in the 
ability of the democratic party to conduct the ship of state through any 
breakers that may appear. Although his attention is largely given to his own 
affairs, his ear is always open to any call appealing to his patriotism or his 
sympathies and no man is more willing to assist the beginner in life's battle 
than the subject of this review, who himself knows the obstacles that lie in the 
way. 



SAMUEL TROUTMAN. 

For almost a half century Samuel Troutman was a resident of Macon county 
and practically all of his life was spent in carrying on agricultural pursuits, so 
that his labors in this direction contributed much to the substantial development 
and improvement of the section in which he so long made his home. He was 
born on the 1st of March, 1843, in Fulton county, about twenty miles from Logans- 
port, Indiana, a son of Peter and Mary (Bruce) Troutman. 

The schools of the Hoosier state afforded Samuel Troutman his educational 
privileges and by improving these he qualified for the duties of life. He re- 
mained in his native county until nineteen years of age, when, his patriotic spirit 
aroused at the outbreak of the Civil war, he offered his services to the govern- 
ment, becoming a member of Company B, Sixteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. 
While at the front he made a most creditable military record, discharged his 
duties in most loyal manner. When hostilities had ceased he joined his parents 
in Decatur, to which city they had in the meantime removed. He remained under 
the parental roof for a short time but on the 10th of January, 1867, established 
a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Elizabeth F. Bear, of Decatur. 




MR. AND MRS. SAMUEL TROUTMAX 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 293 

Following their marriage the young couple took up their abode upon a farm 
near Bearsdale, Macon county, Mr. Troutman having purchased a tract of one 
hundred and sixty acres. For forty-five years he was actively engaged in the 
further development and improvement of that place and his labors brought to 
him a most gratifying annual return. He lived to witness many changes in this 
section of the county as the old fashioned farm utensils were replaced by the more 
modern machinery and the work of progress and improvement was carried on 
in other lines, and Mr. Troutman was quick to adopt any new method or idea 
that tended to better farm work and also add to the material advancement of the 
community. After spending forty-five years on the farm, he bought grain at 
Bearsdale for sixteen years. He then traded for a nice home in Decatur, at No. 
906 West Macon street, and there took up his abode to spend his remaining 
days in honorable retirement. He, however, retained possession of his farm prop- 
erty, from which he derived a good annual income. 

Qualified to wear the Grand Army button, Mr. Troutman never ceased to feel 
a deep interest in his army comrades and was a valued member of Dunham Post, 
No. 141, at Decatur. He was a republican in his political views, while his relig- 
ious faith was indicated by his membership in the First Methodist Episcopal 
church and his life was ever guided by its principles. He passed away June 17, 
1910, after reaching the sixty-seventh milestone on life's journey, leaving to his 
family not only the substantial rewards of his labor and keen sagacity but also 
the priceless heritage of an example that is indeed worthy of emulation. He is 
survived by his widow, one son and one daughter. The son, Frank S. Troutman, 
is married and has one daughter and two sons. He resides on the old home farm 
in Macon county. The daughter, Mary Etta, is the wife of A. J. Conover, who is 
a farmer of this county. 



WILLIAM H. KILE. 



The enterprising town of Argenta finds a worthy representative of its 
business interests in William H. Kile, who for the past five years has been 
proprietor of a general mercantile store, in which he carries a large and well 
selected line of goods that finds favor with the public as shown in the liberal 
patronage which is accorded him. What he undertakes he carries forward to 
successful completion and his business plans are well formulated and promptly 
executed. 

He was born in Macon county, January 22, 1869, and is a son of Isaac W. 
Kile, whose birth occurred in this state in 1840. The grandfather, Josiah Kile, 
was a native of Ohio and became one of the pioneer residents of Macon county, 
settling here when central Illinois was largely an undeveloped and unimproved 
region. There were great stretches of land that were still unclaimed and 
uncultivated, while the timber was uncut and the streams unbridged. Josiah 
Kile purchased one hundred and sixty acres upon which not a furrow had been 
turned or an improvement made, but with characteristic energy he began its 



294 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

development and soon the wild prairie grasses were supplanted by crops of 
grain. 

Isaac W. Kile was reared upon the old homestead in this county amid the 
scenes and environments of pioneer life and after attaining his majority he 
married Miss Emma Thomas, who was born in Ohio but was brought to Illinois 
when a maiden of ten summers. He purchased the interest of the other heirs 
in the old homestead property and thus succeeded to the ownership of the farm. 
However, as his financial resources increased he added to his property until his 
holdings embraced three hundred and forty-five acres. The work of improve- 
ment was carried steadily forward, as seen in well tilled fields, good fences and 
substantial buildings. Upon the farm he reared his family and made his home 
for many years but later removed to Argenta, where he filled the position of 
postmaster for a few years. No public trust reposed in him was ever betrayed in 
the slightest degree and he proved most capable in office. His death occurred 
in October, 1907, and he is still survived by his wife, who yet resides in Argenta. 
Their family numbered two sons, the younger being C. O. Kile, who is engaged 
in the lumber business in Ivesdale, Illinois. 

Wiliam H. Kile, whose name introduces this record, spent his youthful days 
upon the farm and his early education was acquired in the home school. Later 
he attended the State Normal for two terms and also pursued a course in 
Brown's Business College, his thorough mental discipline well qualifying him for 
the responsibilities that came to him when his school life was over. He com- 
pleted arrangements for having a home of his own by his marriage in Blooming- 
ton, Indiana, on the 22d of February, 1892, to Miss Rose M. Miller, who was. 
born in Friends Creek township, Macon county, a daughter of Mrs. C. E. Miller. 
They took up their abode on the farm and he continued its cultivation for twelve 
years, at the same time successfully raising, feeding and fattening stock. While 
he raised some cattle, he made a specialty of Poland China hogs and shipped a 
carload or two of fat hogs each year. He likewise bred Poland Chinas and Here- 
ford cattle and he held several public sales which brought him substantial 
returns for his stock. He became well known both as a breeder and dealer and 
won recognition as one of the leading stockmen of the community. In 1905 he 
removed to Argenta and purchased an interest in the general store of Kunz & 
Reidich. The firm is now Kunz & Kile and they carry an extensive stock of 
general merchandise, having a large double store. Here they have built up an 
extensive business, their sales amounting to about fifty thousand dollars per 
annum. They demand courteous treatment of their patrons on the part of all 
employes and thorough reliability is one of the potent features in their success. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kile have been born six children : Sybil, Gladys, Wilma, 
Maxine and Ira W., all of whom are. at home; and a daughter, Leah, who died 
when about seven months old. The parents are consistent and faithful members 
of the Cumberland Presbyterian church of Argenta and Mr. Kile belongs to the 
Masonic lodge and chapter at Monticello, to the Knights Templar commandery 
at Decatur and to Peoria Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He is a past master of 
the blue lodge and in his life exemplifies the beneficent spirit of the craft. 
While he usually votes the democratic ticket, he is largely independent in politics 
and never allows partisan prejudice to affect him at local elections where no 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 295 

issue is involved. He has served as a member of the town board and also as a 
member of the school board of Argenta and is classed with the active and 
progressive citizens here. His cooperation is a tangible factor in any movement 
for the public good, his business integrity is unassailable and his enterprising 
spirit is manifest not only in commercial and business affairs but also in 
the relations of social life. 



HENRY I. PARISH. 



Among the prominent farmers and live-stock raisers of Harristown township, 
Macon county, is Henry I. Parish, the owner of a beautiful farm which has 
been developed largely through his own industry and good management and is 
one of the most productive farms in the region. He is a native son of Illinois 
and was born in Mount Auburn, Christian county, October 20, i860, a son of 
George A. and Narcissa (Stockton) Parish. The father of our subject, who 
is now seventy-three years of age, was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and 
moved with his parents to Springfield where the head of the family worked at 
the brick mason's trade, later going to Mount Auburn, where George A. Parish 
began his active career as a blacksmith and has lived in the same place ever since 
and gained an honorable name in the community. After working for a few years 
at his trade he purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres adjoining Mount 
Auburn, which he has since conducted. He is affiliated with the democratic party 
and has acceptably discharged the duties of several minor public offices. He is 
also an esteemed member of the Masonic fraternity and a citizen who has always 
had the best interests of the community at heart. The mother was a native of 
Mechanicsburg, Sangamon county, this state, a daughter of Ira and Ruth Stock- 
ton. Her father was a native of Kentucky and came to Sangamon county before 
the Civil war, removing, however, to Macon county, where he settled in Decatur 
township. Two of his maternal uncles, Edward, now deceased, and Richard, 
served with great credit in the Union army until the close of war. 

Henry I. Parish grew up under the parental roof and was educated in the 
public schools. He served under his father until he reached manhood's estate 
and then began as a farmer on his own account. He rented land for four years 
in Christian county, at the end of which time he purchased eighty acres where 
he now lives, paying fifty-three dollars an acre. The land had been very slightly 
improved and after he had acquired full possession he erected a commodious 
barn and a handsome residence and in 1900 purchased an additional eighty acres, 
for which he paid eighty-five or eighty-six dollars an acre. This land is now 
worth two hundred dollars an acre and with a comfortable residence, large barn, 
good fences and an abundance of shade and ornamental trees and other improve- 
ments the farm is easily one of the most attractive properties in the township. 

On March 13, 1883, in Hickory Point township, Mr. Parish was united in 
marriage to Miss Fannie Lewis, who was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, 
England, a daughter of Charles and Emma (Betts) Lewis. She came with her 
parents to America when she was two years of age and the family located in 



296 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Macon county. Here she received a fair common school education and since 
her marriage has been an unfailing assistant to her husband. Her father is still 
a resident of Hickory Point township. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Parish: Forny Oliver, born February 21, 1884, and educated for two years at 
Eureka College, now living at home; and Lewis Russell, born June 26, 1888, a 
student for one year at Millikin University and for one year at Eureka College, 
also at home. 

Mr. Parish was for many years an ardent believer in the principles of the 
democratic party but is now independent in his political views and votes accord- 
ing to the conditions and necessities of the times. He served most acceptably as 
road commissioner for eight years, during which time he was instrumental in 
graveling the roads in the township. He is a member of the Christian church, 
as are also both of his sons, and has for many years occupied the office of deacon 
in the church, the elder son being now assistant superintendent of the Sunday 
school. By a life of industry, sobriety and rightly directed effort, Mr. Parish 
has attained deserved success in his chosen vocation, in addition to which he has 
gained the enduring gratitude of many persons, old and young, by his kind 
acts and well timed advice. He is recognized as a representative of the best type 
of American citizenship — a type which is the foundation and unfailing support 
of the republic. 



CHARLES M. DURNING. 

The soil of Illinois is naturally fertile and productive, and among those who 
are fortunate in possessing farms located in this rich district is numbered 
Charles M. Durning, one of Macon county's substantial and successful agricul- 
turists. He is a native of the Prairie state, his birth occurring on the 15th of 
February, i860, the only son of James and Mary (Nicholson) Durning. The 
family is of German lineage, although representatives of the name have resided 
in this country for many years. The grandfather of our subject, John Durning, 
was born in Venango county, Pennsylvania, and when a lad of fourteen years 
left home because of unharmonious relations with his stepmother, his where- 
abouts remaining unknown to the family until about thirty-five years ago. He 
first made his way to Kentucky, where later he married Jane Maxwell, and was 
engaged in steamboating on the Mississippi river for a number of years, and 
later carried on farming for some time. Subsequently he took up his abode 
near Decatur. Of their family but two sons survive : Edward of Decatur, and D. 
P., of Chanute, Kansas, the former having reached his seventy-eighth year. 

James Durning, the father of our subject, was born in Caldwell county, 
Kentucky, June 20, 1828, and the year 1852 witnessed his arrival in Macon 
county, Illinois, where he took up twenty acres of land in Wheatland township. 
Here he erected a little two-room log cabin, in which all except two of his 
children were born. Subsequently he sold that property and invested in forty 
acres, which was also disposed of later, after which, in 1866, he purchased a 
fine farm of one hundred acres. By nature extremely kindhearted, like others 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 297 

who are charitably inclined he often suffered financial loss in his efforts to be 
of assistance to some fellow-man in need. He was a faithful member of the 
Presbyterian church and on the last day of his life, June 12, 1910, was present 
at services. The occasion was Children's Day, and it was his desire to be pres- 
ent and see his grandchildren attend. With the falling of the evening shadows 
he passed away, and at his demise the community lost one of its m6st valued and 
honored citizens. Death came to him while yet in the enjoyment of good health. 
His wife, who in her maidenhood was Mary Nicholson, was born in Garrard 
county, Kentucky on the 28th of August, 1830, a daughter of John and Elizabeth 
Henry Nicholson. The father, also a native of Kentucky, came to Mason 
county in 1851, locating in Long Creek township, and the following year wit- 
nessed the arrival of the mother in company with her parents. They were 
here united in marriage in 1855, and unto this union were born eight children, 
of whom six passed away in infancy and early childhood. At the time of their 
arrival Macon county was but sparsely settled and Decatur, the flourishing 
business center of the present time, was but a city in embryo, giving little indica- 
tion at that early day of the industrial and commercial activities which were to 
mark its later development. 

It was amid such scenes and environment that Charles M. Durning, whose 
name introduces this review, was reared, no event of special importance coming 
to vary the routine of life for him during the period of his boyhood and youth. 
The district schools near his home afforded him his educational privileges, and 
during the periods of vacation he assisted his father in the work of the farm. 
When seventeen years of age, however, he put aside his text-books to give his 
entire attention to agricultural pursuits, and he continued to give his father the 
benefit of his assistance until 1884, when he was married and took up business 
on his own acount. He managed his father's farm until 1900 and then pur- 
chased his present property, consisting of one hundred and forty-three acres 
located on section 3, Mount Zion township. At that time but one hundred acres 
were cleared but he at once applied himself to the further development of the 
place, clearing the remainder of the land, bringing the fields under cultivation 
and erecting a comfortable house and substantial barns and outbuildings. As 
the years passed he made other improvements, introducing all of the modern 
accessories for facilitating farm labor, and the place today is one of the valuable 
and desirable properties of the township, standing as a monument to his life of 
industry, perseverance and thrift. He engages in general farming and stock- 
raising, making a specialty of buying and fattening hogs and cattle for the 
market, and the substantial success which has crowned his efforts is but an 
indication of keen business sagacity, close application and wise management. 

It was on the 22d of October, 1884, that Mr. Durning was united in marriage 
to Miss Lutitia Muir, a native of Lewis county, Missouri, and a daughter of 
George G. and Mary (Daugherty) Muir. The father, who was born in Kentucky, 
October 11, 1837, was a railroad conductor by occupation and was also a soldier 
in the Civil war, seeing active service in Missouri as a soldier of the Confederate 
army. He died September 4, 1864. His wife, whom he married on the 2d of 
February, i860, in Missouri, was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, January 
21, 1840, and after his death was again married, in 1867, to Thomas Price, a 



298 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

resident of Illinois, whose birth, however, occurred in Ohio. She departed this 
life on the 8th of January, 1904, and Mr. Price died October 22, the same year. 
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Durning has been blessed with five children, as follows : 
Arthur C, who was born July 19, 1885, and is engaged in railroad construction; 
Orville R., born July 7, 1887, who is a trusted employe of the National Bank of 
Decatur; Nina May, who was born February 12, 1892, and was a graduate in 
the academy class of the Millikin University in 1910; Helen, born January 3, 
1896; and Juanita, born on the 5th of August, 1900. 

Mr. Durning's religious faith is that of the Presbyterian church, and frater- 
nally he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with the 
Modern Woodmen of America. A republican in politics, he has been called to 
public office by his fellow citizens, having filled the office of township collector 
for two terms, township assessor for a similar term and at the present time 
serving as school director. Competent and faithful in public office, he has ever 
been actuated in all that he did by a spirit of loyalty and public-spirited devotion 
to the general cause, and in private life he is influenced by manly principles and 
honorable purpose. He is a successful man, and yet his success cannot be 
measured in terms of material gain alone, for his sterling characteristics have 
won for him the confidence, regard and good will of his fellowmen — a possession 
more to be desired than material wealth. 



FREDERICK A. GRONINGER. 

Among those citizens of Macon county who had their birth across the waters 
but who in the new world have found and improved the opportunities for busi- 
ness advancement which led them to seek their fortunes in this county, is num- 
bered Frederick A. Groninger. He was born in Oldenberg, Germany, on the 
1st of December, 1830, and is therefore in the eightieth year of his life. His 
parents, Frederick and Helen Groninger, were also natives of the fatherland, 
where their entire lives were spent, the father there devoting his life to the 
ministry. Their family consisted of three sons, but the brothers of our subject 
are now deceased. 

To the public schools of his native land Frederick A. Groninger is indebted 
for the educational advantages which he enjoyed during his boyhood and youth. 
After laying aside his text-books he was employed for some time as a farm 
hand, and was thus engaged until 1859, when he determined to seek the advan- 
tages which awaited the ambitious and industrious in the land of opportunity 
across the waters. Coming to America he made his way to Nebraska where he 
purchased land and for about ten years engaged in farming. The year 1871 
witnessed his arrival in Macon county, Illinois, locating in Pleasant View town- 
ship, where he purchased eighty acres of land. This formed the nucleus of his 
present excellent farm, -for as the years passed and he prospered in his under- 
taking he was able to add to his original purchase until he now owns two hundred 
and eighty acres of rich and valuable land on sections 8 and 9. His efforts have 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 299 

since been directed to its further cultivation and development and he has brought 
the place under a high state of improvement. About twenty-five years ago he 
erected the attractive modern residence which is now his home, and has equipped 
the farm with all the accessories and conveniences that go to make up a model 
farm. He has engaged in general farming, and his well directed efforts, his 
close application and his practical methods have been resultant factors in the 
acquirement of a sucecss which is at once substantial and gratifying. He still 
gives personal supervision to his business interests, although the actual work of 
the farm is left to others, and now, in the evening of life, is enjoying those 
comforts which come as a reward for long years of active labor and earnest 
endeavor. 

Mr. Groninger was united in marriage, June 2, 1880, to Miss Mary 
Elizabeth Edwards, who was born in Athensville, Green county, Illinois, on 
the 17th of December, 1858, a daughter of Nathaniel and Louisa (Fergusson) 
Edwards. The father, who was born in Kentucky on the 20th of November, 
1830, passed away in Shelbyville, Illinois, April 2, 1903, but the mother, whose 
birth occurred in Green county, Illinois, is still living and makes her home in 
Blue Mound at the age of seventy-six years. In their family were seven children, 
as follows: Mary E., who became the wife of Mr. Groninger, of this review; 
Lucinda, who married Nicholas Depue, of Grand Island, Nebraska; Matilda, 
the widow of John Crawford, who makes her home in Mount Park, Oklahoma; 
Annis, wife of John Hull, also residing in Oklahoma; Nancy, who .married 
Pink Huston and lives in Missouri; Nona, the wife of Harris Revis, of Blue 
Mound, and Birton E., at Blue Mound. Mr. and Mrs. Groninger became the 
parents of seven children, all of whom were born in Pleasant View township. 
The first child passed away in infancy. Helena, the second in order of birth, 
was born in 1882 and passed away December 31, 1907, her remains being interred 
in Hall cemetery. She had become the wife of Charles Powers, and at her 
death left five sons, Michael, Frederick, Willard, Raymond and Charles Teddy. 
Anna, the next child, was born in 1884 and became the wife of Anderson Austin. 
They have two children, Mary Ellen Pearl and Edwin, and the family reside in 
Pleasant View township. Frederick William, born June 22, 1889, is a graduate 
of the township schools and is now at home, assisting his father in the conduct 
of the homestead. Alvena Wilhelmina Caroline, born April 23, 1893, is yet at 
home and keeps house for her father. Edward Adolph was born in February, 
1895, and passed away at the age of one year and one month, and the youngest 
of the family also passed away in infancy. 

On the 5th of April, 1909, Mr. Groninger was called upon to mourn the loss 
of his wife, whose remains were laid to rest in Hall cemetery. She was a lady 
of most excellent characteristics, a lover of good literature, progressive in her 
ideas, refined in manner and kindly and generous in spirit. Her loss was keenly 
felt not only in the family, where she had ever been a most loving wife and 
devoted and indulgent mother, but also in the community where she had long 
been honored and loved by her friends and neighbors as an excellent example 
of true and noble womanhood. She passed away in the belief of the Christian 
church, whose teachings had ever been exemplified in her daily life. Mr. 
Groninger holds membership in the German Lutheran church, while he gives 



300 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

stanch support to the principles of the democratic party. For a number of 
years he held the position of road boss, and has ever been deeply and helpfully 
interested in all matters that pertain to the public life of the community, casting 
his influence in behalf of those projects which have for their object its permanent 
upbuilding and development. Although he has long since passed the Psalmist's 
allotted span of three score years and ten, his memory remains remarkably 
clear and goes back through long years of active connection with the agricultural 
interests of his adopted country to his early life in his native land. He has 
never had occasion to regret his determination to seek his fortune in the new 
world, however, for here he found the opportunities which he sought for 
advancement in business lines, and has won most substantial prosperity. The 
full measure of his success, however, cannot be taken in terms of material success 
alone, for he has acquired an enviable place in the opinion of his fellow citizens, 
among whom he has even been an especial favorite. 



JOHN WASHBURN. 



All Decatur knows and respects John Washburn, who since 1855 has been 
identified with mercantile interests in this city. He came here when Decatur 
was a village and with its upbuilding and improvement has been closely associated, 
contributing at all times to its progress and advancement. His life has indeed 
been honorable and worthy of emulation, and although he is now eighty-one 
years of age he still remains a factor in the world's work, being proprietor of 
one of the oldest established mercantile enterprises of the city. 

His birth occurred in Lyme, Grafton county, New Hampshire, June 1, 1829, 
his parents being John and Sarah (Tucker) Washburn, the latter a grand- 
daughter of one of the soldiers who' fought under the immediate command of 
General George Washington from the beginning until the close of the Revolu- 
tionary war. He was a member of a Massachusetts regiment and participated 
in the battle of Bunker Hill. He was also one of the famous Boston tea 
party and aided in throwing the tea overboard into the sea, thus showing open 
resistance to the tea tax. John Washburn remembers the stories which his 
grandfather told concerning the Revolutionary war and of hearing him sing 
the old song of the British soldiers, the tenor of which was : 

"Indian pudding and pumpkin pie; 
Hurrah ! how that will make the Yankees fly." 

Three brothers named Washburn were founders of the family in the new 
world. They left England on one of the old time sailing vessels and settled at 
Bridgeport, Massachusetts, near Boston, arriving soon after the landing of the 
Pilgrim Fathers. For generations representatives of the name lived and died 
there. The old home place was in possession of the famliy for one hundred and 
forty years but changed ownership about a year ago. 

John Washburn, the father of him whose name introduces this review, was 
born June 29, 1795, and died January 6, 1872. He was a New Hampshire 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 303 

farmer, devoting his entire life to general agricultural pursuits. His wife, who 
was born September 13, 1794, died January 9, 1874. The family is noted for 
longevity. A sister of Mr. Washburn, Mrs. Mary E. Richardson, is living in 
Westfield, Massachusetts, at the age of eighty-three years, and a cousin and other 
relatives of the family remain residents of the eastern states. A brother, Ben- 
jamin T. Washburn, was born July 6, 1832, and died June n, 1908. John Sloan, 
a great-uncle of Mr. Washburn, on the paternal side, died in June, 1824, at the 
remarkable old age of ninety-six years, while his wife, Esther, passed away in 
December, 1828, also ninety-six years of age. These were the first white settlers 
of Lyme, New Hampshire. 

John Washburn pursued his education in the district schools of his native city 
until twenty years of age and during that period also assisted his father in the 
operation of the home farm. Later he removed to Newark, Ohio, where he en- 
gaged in teaching school for three terms and also spent one term as a teacher 
near Oberlin, Ohio, but thinking to find commercial pursuits more congenial 
and profitable, he became connected with mercantile interests at Newark, where 
he remained until 1855, when he came to Decatur, Illinois, which at that time 
was little more than a cross-roads village. There were no paved streets, only 
a few dwellings and a very limited number of business houses. Mr. Washburn 
secured a stock of merchandise, opened a store and has since been connected with 
the city. He has occupied the same store room for forty years and this is one of 
the oldest established mercantile enterprises of Decatur. The store is located 
at No. 219 South Park street and he resides at No. 249 West William street. 

In Decatur, in 1867, Mr. Washburn was united in marriage to Miss Zarilda 
A. Emmons, who died in 1879. In politics he is independent, voting rather for 
men and measures than for party. He is an enthusiastic and zealous member of 
the Decatur Retail Grocers Association and also has the welfare and progress 
of the city at heart. He has been a successful merchant but is entirely free from 
ostentation and display. He is remarkably well preserved for one of his years 
and has but recently returned from a trip to the east, visiting Ohio and his old 
home in New Hampshire, where his ancestors were among the makers of 
history, leaving their impress for good upon the development and progress of 
that section of the country. Decatur citizens, having long known Mr. Wash- 
burn, would regard no work of this character complete without mention of his 
life, and he has indeed been a most prominent factor in the commercial circles 
of the city. 



WILLIAM CROSSON. 



From the ranks of the employed, working by the month as a farm hand, to 
the ownership of an excellent farm of one hundred and sixty-one acres, is the 
record of William Crosson, who is now numbered among the representative and 
progressive agriculturists of South Macon township. He is one of Ireland's 
contribution to the citizenship of Illinois, his birth occurring in the north of 
Ireland on the 1st of January, 1844. His parents, William and Mary (McGar- 
vey) Crosson, were also natives of the Emerald isle, where the mother passed 



304 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

away when her son William was but nine years of age. His father, who yet 
makes his home in Ireland, has reached the venerable age of ninety years. 

William Crosson, who was the eldest in a family of six children, was reared 
in the country of his nativity and in the common schools received a good educa- 
tion. He remained with his father until after attaining his majority, and then, 
aroused by the reports concerning the advantages to be found in the new world, 
he left Londonderry, September 7, 1867, with America — the land of oppor- 
tunity — as his destination. Arriving at New York, he made his way to Phil- 
adelphia, Pennsylvania, where he spent the following winter, and in May, 1868, 
came to Illinois, locating in Bureau county. There he obtained employment as 
a farm hand, working by the month, and in that capacity he labored for ten 
years, or until, desiring that his efforts should more directly benefit himself, he 
removed to Shelby county and there rented a farm of fifty acres, engaging in 
agriculture on his own account. That farm remained his home for two years 
after which, feeling that the money which he had been able to accumulate 
through careful saving and wise expenditure would permit such a step, he 
purchased eighty acres of land in Macon county, which tract formed the nucleus 
of his present excellent farm. He at once began the further development and 
improvement of that tract, and with the passing of the years, as he prospered, 
he was able to add to his original purchase until he is now the owner of one 
hundred and sixty-one acres located in section 12, South Macon township, which 
is now one of the good farming properties of the locality. About twenty years 
ago he erected what is now the main part of his home, and has since added to 
it until now he has a fine modern residence. He has introduced many improve- 
ments upon the place, and here engages in general farming and also gives much 
attention to stock-raising, both branches of his business proving most successful. 

The home life of Mr. Crosson had its foundation in his marriage, in Septem- 
ber, 1876, to Miss Martha Watts, a daughter of Mt. Zion and Mary (Turner) 
Watts, natives of Ohio and Virginia respectively. Mrs. Crosson was one of a 
family of thirteen children, her birth occurring on the 7th of September, 1846. 
By her marriage to Mr. Crosson she became the mother of seven children, of 
whom the eldest, James M., was born April 29, 1877, and now makes his home 
in Macon county. He married Miss Minnie Lindermood, and they have one 
child. William J., the second in order of birth, was born on the 7th of Decem- 
ber, 1878, and is employed as railroad telegraph operator. Edward B. passed 
away in infancy. Mary E., who was born February 7, 1882, is a stenographer 
of Decatur, and Margaret C, who was born January 5, 1884, is a milliner of 
that city. Martha G., whose birth occurred in August, 1886, is attending busi- 
ness college in Decatur, and Annie A., born April 11, 1889, is yet at home. 

Mr. Crosson and his family are members of the Roman Catholic church of 
Macon, while the former gives his support to the democratic party when national 
issues are involved. In local politics, however, he is independent, reserving the 
right to cast his influence in behalf of those men and measures which in his 
opinion are best adapted to conserve the general good. He is a firm believer 
in the policy of the best good to the greatest number, and his genuine worth and 
public-spirited citizenship have been recognized by his fellowmen, who elected 
him to the position of road commissioner, in which he served for one term. For 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 305 

twelve years he has been a school director, and the cause of education has ever 
found in him a stanch champion. All matters relating to the material, intellec- 
tual and moral welfare of the community receive his hearty cooperation, and 
he has ever done all in his power to promote the welfare of his adopted country. 
He has never regretted his determination to come to America, for here, where 
opportunity is open to all young men possessed of energy, ambition and deter- 
mination, he has met success, prosperity having come to him as the legitimate 
result of well directed effort and intelligently applied labor. 



FREDERICK E. WILSON. 

Frederick E. Wilson, a well known and respected resident of Macon, has 
been successfully engaged in the buying and selling of live stock throughout his 
entire business career and during the past seven years has also devoted consider- 
able attention to auctioneering. His birth occurred in Macon, Illinois, on the 
22d of February, 1859, his parents being William and Amelia (Delbridge) 
Wilson, natives of Germany. The father passed away in 1862, when forty-six 
years of age, and the mother afterward wedded Henry Harbor, of St. Clair 
county, Illinois, by whom she had three children. She was called to her final 
rest in April, 1892. 

Frederick E. Wilson, the elder of two children born unto his parents, attended 
the public schools for a brief period but his opportunities in this direction were 
limited and his education has been largely self-acquired. When still but a boy he 
manifested an inclination to deal in and handle live stock and this branch of 
activity has claimed his time and energies throughout his entire business career, 
his attention being principally given to the buying and selling of horses and 
mules. During the past seven years he has likewise been engaged in auctioneer- 
ing and farming in partnership with his son, Emanuel C, and in his various 
undertakings has won a gratifying measure of prosperity. He owns an attrac- 
tive and substantial home in the town of Macon and is an enterprising and 
representative resident of the community. 

In 1881 Mr. Wilson was united in marriage to Miss Elva McDaniel, who 
was born on the 2d of January, 1862, her parents being Manuel and Rachel C. 
( Hill) McDaniel, natives of Macon county. Illinois. Mrs. Wilson was the 
eighth in order of birth in a family of nine children and by her marriage has 
become the mother of three sons. Emanuel C, whose natal day was June 27, 
1883, was married on the 6th of January, 1908, to Miss Rose Cutter, who passed 
away on the 28th of December following. He now resides in Macon with his 
parents. Arthur E., who was born on the nth of December, 1885, is a member 
of the New York Club of the National League. Ernest E., whose birth occurred 
September 17, 1887, died on the 27th of January, 1889. 

When national questions and issues are involved Mr. Wilson supports the 
republican party but at local elections casts an independent ballot, voting for the 
candidate whom he believes best qualified. His fraternal relations are with 



306 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

South Macon Lodge, No. 467, A. F. & A. M., and Beacon Lodge, No. 434, K. 
P., and his wife belongs to the ladies' auxiliary of the latter order. Both are 
devoted and consistent members of the Methodist church at Macon. They have 
spent their entire lives in this county and are well known and highly esteemed 
within its borders. 



JOHN NEWSHAM. 



John Newsham, owner of a beautiful farm of one hundred and sixty acres 
on section 34, South Macon township, and known as one of the enterprising 
citizens of the township, was born in St. Clair county, Illinois, October 9, 1856. 
He is a son of John and Catherine (Cottom) Newsham. The father was born 
in England and came with his parents to America in his boyhood, settling in 
Illinois. Here he was married in 1852, his wife being a native of Cincinnati, 
Ohio, where she was born September 20, 1830. Mr. Newsham engaged in farm- 
ing and was an industrious and capable man, who gained the respect of his 
neighbors and of all with whom he came in contact. He departed this life May 
24, 1876. Mrs. Newsham survived her husband twenty-five years and was called 
away September 15, 1901. She was a woman of many excellent qualities and 
one who left the world better for having lived in it. Ten children were born 
to Mr. and Mrs. Newsham, the subject of this review being the third in order 
of birth. 

Educated in the public schools, John Newsham continued upon the farm 
until he arrived at the estate of manhood. After taking unto himself a life part- 
ner he began farming on his own account and in 1893 purchased the farm on 
which he has since lived, devoting his attention to general farming and the rear- 
ing of live stock for the market. Since gaining possession of the farm Mr. News- 
ham has made many improvements, modernizing the residence, erecting new 
outbuildings and fences, setting out shade and ornamental trees and purchasing 
up-to-date appliances, so that at the present time his farm is one of the most 
desirable properties in the township. In the meantime the owner has prospered 
financially through good management and well applied industry. 

On July 3, 1879, Mr. Newsham was united in marriage to Miss Josephine 
Cook, a daughter of Henry and Catherine (Monsell) Cook, natives of Pennsyl- 
vania, who came to Illinois about 1857 and settled in Macon county. Two chil- 
dren were born to Mr. and Mrs. Cook, Mrs. Newsham being the eldest. The 
home of Mr. and Mrs. Newsham has been brightened by the arrival of four 
children. Viola A., who was born April 5, 1880, is now living in Decatur. 
William W., born August 18, 1881, married Miss Nona March, of Macon county, 
and is now living in this county and has one child. Eleonora W., born Decem- 
ber 11, 1883, is the wife of George Mills, of Keyesport, Clinton county, Illinois. 
Frank E„ born September 3, 1899, is still at home. 

Mr. Newsham is socially identified with South Macon Lodge, No. 467, A. 
F. & A. M., and he and his wife are members of the Order of the Eastern 
Star. Politically he is a republican, but he is a strong advocate of prohibition 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 307 

and usually votes independently in local affairs. He and his family are worthy 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Macon and for some years 
he has acted as steward of the church, his wife being a member of the Ladies' 
Aid Society and the Home and Foreign Missionary Societies. Mr. and Mrs. 
Newsham have many friends in this community and are interested in all worthy 
movements that aim to advance the permanent welfare of the region. 



CHARLES H. FINSON. 

Charles H. Finson, who was a soldier of the Civil war and is today a 
responsible farmer and stock-raiser of Macon county, was born on a farm near 
Bethel, now Chapin, in Morgan county, Illinois, February n, 1847, a son of 
John D. and Narcissa (True) Finson. The father and mother were both 
natives of Maine and there they grew to maturity. Mr. Finson, desirous of tak- 
ing advantage of the excellent opportunities offered in the agricultural regions 
of the west, came to Morgan county, this state, where he located upon a farm 
and soon demonstrated that he had made no mistake in selecting Illinois as 
his adopted state. After becoming established in his new home he communi- 
cated with the lady of his choice in the Pine Tree state and upon his solicitation 
she came west and they were married in Morgan county. He became the owner 
of two hundred and eighty acres of land in Morgan and Scott counties and was 
an industrious and enterprising citizen, greatly esteemed by his neighbors and 
loved by his family. 

Charles H. Finson was reared upon the farm and received his education in 
the public schools. In April, 1864, at the age of seventeen years, he offered 
his services in support of the government and was accepted as a member of 
Company I, Eleventh Missouri Volunteer Infantry. He was first under fire 
at Tupelo, Mississippi, and later was present in some of the important engage- 
ments of the war, among them the battles of Nashville and Spanish Fort and 
was also in many minor engagements. He served his country valiantly and 
after the close of the war, in January, 1806, was honorably discharged and 
mustered out of service, returning to Morgan county, where he again resumed 
the peaceful pursuit of agriculture. At twenty-one years of age he began farm- 
ing for himself as a renter of land in Morgan county and a few years later, 
after his marriage, he went to Crawford county, Kansas, with the intention of 
making his permanent home in that state. However, he did not find conditions 
as favorable as he expected and he again took up his residence in Morgan county, 
later spending a few years in Scott county, where he purchased fifty acres of 
land and also owned sixty acres which he inherited from his father. He sold 
his farm in 1889 and purchased land in Macon county, paying sixty-five dollars 
an acre, and here he established his homestead and now occupies a beautiful 
farm of one hundred and sixty acres on sections 7 and 8, Harristown town- 
ship. Here he has met with gratifying success, in the pursuit of which he has 
devoted the principal years of his life. His farm is under perfect cultivation 



308 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

and he has erected good buildings, enlarged and remodelled his residence and 
made many other valuable improvements. He has seen no reason to regret 
taking up his home in this county. 

On October 29, 1869, in Morgan county, Mr. Finson was united in marriage 
to Miss Susan Mansfield, a native of Morgan county and a daughter of James 
and Elizabeth Mansfield. Four children have blessed the union of Mr. and 
Mrs. Finson, William, born November 24, 1870, in Crawford county, Kansas, 
married Bertha Sanford and is now engaged in the grain business at Monticello, 
this state. Edward L., a resident of Niantic, who was born in January, 1872, 
married Ida Kapp and has one child, Maud C. Lena is now Mrs. Thomas Knapp, 
of Missouri, and the mother of one child, Harold. James lives with his brother 
at Monticello. 

Mr. Finson, as was his father, is a supporter of the republican party and 
cast his first presidential ballot for U. S. Grant. He has never aspired to politi- 
cal honors, preferring to devote his time to private interests. He is a man of 
exemplary habits and although his name is not on the rolls of any religious de- 
nomination, he is a liberal contributor to all worthy causes and in all respects, 
as he has demonstrated through a life of usefulness, is a patriotic and loyal 
citizen. 



SARD GILES. 



Sard Giles, a highly sucessful farmer of South Macon township, Macon 
county, was born in Meigs county, Ohio, December 27, 1850. He is a son of 
Andrew G. and Rebecca (Payne) Giles, both of whom were natives of Ohio. 
The father was a farmer and departed this life in his native state before the 
Civil war. The mother is still living in Ohio and has reached the advanced 
age of eighty-five years. 

The third child of a family of four children, the subject of our review was 
reared upon the farm and educated in the public schools. He engaged in various 
ocupations and at twenty-three years of age, believing that more favorable con- 
ditions for a young man who had only his own resources to depend upon existed 
in Illinois than in his community, he came to this state and worked by the 
month until 1877, when he began farming upon rented land. At the end of 
two years he purchased eighty acres in Pleasant View township, this county, 
and later disposed of this tract and entered the tile business, to which he de- 
voted his energies for about ten years, in the meantime, however, acquiring 
two hundred acres of land in Pleasant View township. Desiring to devote his 
entire attention to agricultural operations, he leased the tile factory, sold the 
land which he had acquired in Pleasant View township and purchased one Hun- 
dred and sixty acres in section 26, South Macon township, which he owns today. 
After living on this farm one year he moved to Macon and, prospering in his 
agricultural operations, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres in section 
35, South Macon township, and later acquired one hundred and sixty acres more 
in the same township. He bought sixty-five acres in South Wheatland town- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 309 

ship and there lived for three years, when he sold this property and bought an 
additional forty acres in South Macon township. Having purchased a residence 
in Macon, he moved to town and after three years became owner of the hand- 
some residence in which he has since made his home. He is now the possessor 
of a beautiful farm of six hundred and eighty acres and is one of the progressive 
farmers of the county. 

In 1885 Mr. Giles was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Davis, a daugh- 
ter of Isaac and Maria Davis, both natives of Pennsylvania, who came to Illi- 
nois in the early days. Mrs. Giles was born February 22, 1862, and was seventh 
in order of birth in a family of nine children. To Mr. and Mrs. Giles two chil- 
dren have been born: Leta, born February 11, 1887, and married to William F. 
Timmons, of Macon county, mention of whom is made elsewhere in this work; 
and Elmo S., born November 28, 1892, and living at home. 

Mr. Giles politically is in sympathy with the republican party, believing that 
its principles of protection and centralization are of very great importance in 
the maintenance of prosperity and for the perpetuity of the American republic. 
Since his early manhood Mr. Giles has been actively identified with general 
farming and live-stock raising, except during the time he was engaged in the 
tile business, and his operations have always reflected credit upon himself as a 
man of the highest integrity and honor and upon the vocation he so ably repre- 
sents. He and his wife are attendants of the Methodist church and are liberal 
contributors to all worthy causes. 



MERRILL LeROY HARRY. 

Merrill LeRoy Harry, general superintendent of the Decatur Railway & 
Light Company and recognized as one of the competent and progressive electri- 
cal managers of the state, is a native of Michigan and was born at Bay City, 
June 8, 1878, a son of Charles L. and Clara J. (Affleck) Harry. The father 
was born in Ohio and became a mechanical electrical engineer. He settled in 
Bay City, where he was married July 5, 1877. Mrs. Harry was born February 
28, 1858, and was the eldest of a family of six children. She became the mother 
of two children: Merrill LeRoy, our subject; and Florence, who died at the 
age of five years. 

The subject of this review received his preliminary education in the public 
schools and later pursued a course in a business college at Bay City. He began 
his active career in the employ of the street railway company in Bay City, 
where he advanced through various positions, going from Bay City to Kokomo, 
Indiana, where he acted as superintendent of the Kokomo Railway & Light 
Company, continuing in that position for six years. In 1901 he came to Dan- 
ville, Illinois, in a similiar capacity and in 1903 was appointed general superin- 
tendent of the Decatur Railway & Light Company, continuing in that position 
ever since and performing his duties with a high degree of acceptance on the 
part of the directors of the company as well as to the satisfaction of the citizens 
generally. By years of practical experience he has become thoroughly familiar 



310 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

with his work and his genial manner and pleasing address greatly assist in for- 
warding all matters of business placed in his charge. 

On February 17, 1909, Mr. Harry was happily united in marriage to Mrs. 
Mildred O'Hara, a daughter of Howard M. and Mary Robinson, of Buffalo, 
Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are the parents of three children: Mildred, 
herein mentioned; William, who died in childhood; and Harry now living in 
Buffalo, this state. One child, Mary Frances, born February 15, 1910, has 
blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry. 

Mr. Harry is connected with a number of interests in the community, among 
which may be mentioned Ionic Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and Decatur Lodge, B. 
P. O. E. From the time of casting his first ballot he has been a supporter of 
the republican party, being a stanch believer in the principles of protection of 
American industries and centralization of power in the national government. 
Mr. Harry is a member of the Presbyterian church, while his wife's name is 
found upon the rolls of the Methodist church. He is identified with the Decatur 
Club and the Country Club of Decatur, the Missouri Athletic Club of St. Louis 
and the Decatur Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Harry has many friends in the 
various organizations with which he is connected and is equally popular among 
his business associates, who have great respect for his ability and good judg- 
ment. 



SOLOMON KITCH. 



Living quietly in the evening of life, Solomon Kitch enjoys the respect and 
good-will of all who know him. He is a veteran of the Civil war, and there- 
fore entitled to his country's gratitude. In days of peace he has been equally 
loyal to the best interests of city, state and nation, and his entire life has been 
characterized by qualities that have won him kindly regard. He was born in 
Lancaster City, Pennsylvania, October 1, 1830, and represents one of the old 
families of that state. His paternal grandfather, who was also born in Penn- 
sylvania, devoted his active business life to farming and died in Lancaster. 
His son, George Kitch, father of Solomon Kitch, was also a native of the Key- 
stone state, where he died when his son Solomon was but eighteen months old. 
He had there conducted business as a hotelkeeper. His wife, who bore the 
maiden name of Sarah Ann Goodman, was born in Pennsylvania and was mar- 
ried in Lancaster. Her father was a native of Germany, but when nine years 
of age came to the new world and spent his remaining days in Lancaster county. 
He drove a six-horse team from Lancaster to Philadelphia before the railroads 
were built. His daughter Sarah gave her hand in marriage to George Kitch 
and after his death went with her five children to her father's home in Lan- 
caster county, living with him for several years. She again married, becoming 
the wife of Henry White. They resided upon a farm until the death of Mr. 
White in 1855, when she again became a resident of Lancaster. In 1859 she 
removed westward to Niantic, Illinois, where she purchased a home, which she 
occupied until her demise in 1869. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 313 

Solomon Kitch acquired his education in the public schools of Lancaster 
county. He remained with his mother until twenty-five years of age, when he 
was married and removed to Fort Wayne, Indiana, but after a brief period 
returned to the place of his nativity, where he engaged in laying water pipe. 
In 1857, however, he again left Pennsylvania, and on the 4th of March took 
up his abode in Niantic, Illinois, where he was living at the time of the out- 
break of the Civil war. Bidding adieu to his wife and children, he offered his 
services to the government, enlisting in Company E, One Hundred and Six- 
teenth Illinois Infantry, at Decatur on the 6th of August, 1862. He served 
until the close of the war and was mustered out at Washington, D. C, re- 
ceiving his pay at Camp Butler, Illinois, on the nth of June, 1865. He had 
served for nearly three years and participated in the battles of Arkansas Post, 
Kenesaw Mountain, Murfreesboro, Atlanta and Vicksburg. In the last named 
battle he was shot, but a box of cartridges which he had in his pocket saved 
his life. He also participated in the engagement at Missionary Ridge, together 
with many skirmishes, the regiment taking part altogether in sixteen hotly con- 
tested engagements. It was his brigade that captured Fort McAllister. 

After the war Mr. Kitch rejoined his family in Niantic, but while he was 
absent at the front one of his sons had died. For several years following the 
war he engaged in farming and remained in that vicinity altogether for thirty 
years. He then went to Kansas, where he resided for a short time, and finally 
removed to Decatur, retiring from active business in 1895. 

Mr. Kitch was married in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, on the 4th of 
March, 1855, to Miss Sarah J. Hammond, who was born in the city of Lan- 
caster, March 27, 1835. Her father, George Hammond, was born in Massa- 
chusetts June 27, 1807, and removed to Maryland when his daughter Sarah 
was but six years of age. He afterward lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and 
subsequently in Grafton, Virginia, where he died November 18, 1869. His 
wife, who bore the maiden name of Julia T. Devault, was born in France, Au- 
gust 19, 1807. Her parents, after living for a time in Massachusetts, removed 
to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the death of Mrs. Hammond occurred Feb- 
ruary 18, 1877. She became the wife of Mr. Hammond on the 14th of Feb- 
ruary, 1828, at Savage Factor, Maryland, the wedding ceremony being per- 
formed by the Rev. Hoskins. In the Hammond family were twelve children. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kitch there were also born twelve children: Walter F., 
born January 10, 1856, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, died on the nth of July 
of the same year; Laura A., born July 26, 1857, in Niantic, Illinois, was mar- 
ried June 10, 1892, to William S. Griswall, and is living in Decatur ; Julia, born 
in Niantic, October 31, 1858, died on the first anniversary of her birth; Harriet 
D., born July 5, i860, in Niantic, died on the 5th of September of the same 
year; Sarah E., a twin sister of Harriet, died only two days later; George H., 
born February 7, 1862, in Niantic, died on the 8th of October of the same year; 
Mary T. born April 25, 1866, in Niantic, is now the wife of John P. Martin, 
and has five children, Florence, Goldie, Elva, Herbert and Clarence, all of whom 
are living. Benjamin S., born in Niantic, November 1, 1867, and now a resi- 
dent of Decatur, married Sarah E. Price and has three children, Mark, Marie 
and Paul. Ulysses was born February 7, 1870, and died on the 7th of August 



314 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

of the same year. Samuel, born January 19, 1871, died on the 19th of July, 
following. Arthur C, born May 27, 1872, at Niantic, died August 11, 1909, 
leaving a widow who in her maidenhood was Adeline Eassmah. Clarence A., 
born October 30, 1878, died April 25, 1906. 

In politics Mr. Kitch has ever been an earnest republican since the organi- 
zation of the party. He belongs to Dunham Post, No. 141, G. A. R., and his 
wife is a member of the Christian church. He has always endeavored to fol- 
low the golden rule, and he and his wife are undoubtedly among the most 
highly esteemed of the old couples of Decatur, being loved and respected by all 
who know them. They have long resided in Macon county, their residence 
here covering a period of more than a half century, so that they have witnessed 
much of the growth and progress of this locality. 



OTTO FREDERICK BAUER. 

Otto Frederick Bauer, one of the successful farmers of Macon county, now 
living on a farm of two hundred acres in sections 26 and 35, South Macon town- 
ship, was born in Macoupin county, Illinois, October 11, 1871. He is the son 
of John Henry and Anna (Ahlers) Bauer. The father was a native of Germany 
and was born November 28, 1825. Seeking more favorable conditions than he 
perceived in the old country, he came to America in 1848 and settled in Macoupin 
county, where he was married four years later. For nearly fifty years he was 
identified with farming interests, departing this life in 1899. The mother was 
also a native of Germany. She was born November 11, 1832, and came to this 
country with her parents when she was about eighteen years of age, the family 
settling near Bunker Hill, Macoupin county, where she is now living. She was 
the mother of eight children, of whom the subject of this review was seventh 
in order of birth. 

Educated in the public schools, Otto F. Bauer grew up as a farm boy and 
then went to St. Louis where he continued his studies in the public schools 
and entered the manual training school, which is one of the finest institutions 
of the kind in the United States, graduating with third honors in 1890 in a class 
of fifty-four members. He had been an earnest student and the position which 
he occupied in his class is an index of his ambition and of the zeal which he 
has displayed in everything he has undertaken. Returning to the home farm, 
he continued there until after his marriage, when he went to Macoupin county 
and in 1899 purchased ninety acres of land near Elwin, where he farmed for 
two years, at the end of which time he sold the farm and purchased the land 
where he now lives. Five years ago he built a handsome residence which is 
provided with all modern conveniences and he has made many improvements, 
adding greatly to the value of the farm. He engages in general farming and 
live-stock raising and does his work so well that he is always assured of hand- 
some yearly returns. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 315 

In 1895 Mr. Bauer was united in marriage to Miss Carrie Otta, a daughter 
of August and Augusta (Durfer) Otta, who came from Germany to America in 
the '50s and settled in Missouri, but have since become residents of Decatur. 
Mrs. Bauer was born February 2, 1874, and has been to her husband a faithful 
and helpful companion. Two children have brightened their household: Myra M., 
born July 25, 1898; and Paul H., born April II, 1903. Mr. Bauer is identified with 
the republican party, but in local issues votes independent of any party ties. 
He is a valued member of the Congregational church of Bunker Hill and has 
many friends, not only in the church but among citizens generally, because of 
his recognized character for integrity and his friendly attitude toward all worthy 
movements aiming to make the neighborhood the best possible place of resi- 
dence. Mr. Bauer is a man of good education and wide reading and has ap- 
plied to his work thoroughly tested principles, so that the success he has gained 
has been well earned and gives promise of still greater returns in the years to 
come. 



T. C. BUXTON, M. D. 



Dr. T. C. Buxton is both the architect and builder of his own fortunes and 
the years have brought him success, not because chance or fortune favored him 
but because he had courage and energy. Denied the opportunities which most 
boys enjoy, unable to read or write before he reached early manhood, he has 
overcome this lack of early education and has won for himself a creditable 
name as a representative of the profession of medicine, of law and of literature. 

Dr. Buxton was born in 1875 m Benton county, Arkansas, in that little 
locality of Bear Hollow which the Civil war made famous. He is a son of Mills 
Buxton, a native of Morgan county, Tennessee, and a grandson of William 
Buxton, who was born in North Carolina. His mother bore the maiden name 
of Martha Mason and was a native of Macon, Mississippi. Both parents were 
of English descent. Mills Buxton was a Methodist circuit rider, traveling in 
that way through Arkansas and Missouri in his effort to influence the people 
through the teachings of the gospel. In 1878 he accepted a regular pastorate in 
the Methodist church of Winfield, Kansas, where he remained until his death, 
which occurred early in 1879. His wife passed away in Arkansas, March 5, 
1875. She was a representative of an old southern family who owned slaves. 

Following his mother's death Dr. Buxton was reared by an uncle, T. M. 
Mason, upon a farm in the midst of the Ozark mountains. There were no 
schools so that he was deprived of educational advantages, and feeling that his 
opportunities were very narrow and restricted there he ran away from home 
when fifteen years of age, going to Oklahoma and Texas, where he spent two 
years on a cattle ranch. On the expiration of that period he made his way to- 
ward Chicago, hoping to get work at the World's Fair grounds. As he had 
not the money for carfare he was making his way northward on a freight train 
but was thrown off at Decatur, June 3, 1893. He was absolutely penniless and 
found it very difficult to secure work, so that he had to depend upon charity 



316 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

for the means of subsistence for about three months. In September he secured 
a position with the Decatur Cracker Company at two dollars and a half per 
week. He worked with that company during the winter and in the following 
summer was employed at farm labor. He was unskilled in any trade and was 
uneducated, and realizing how great was his handicap on that account; in the 
fall he started to school at Casner, Illinois, being instructed by J. E. Under- 
wood, who taught him to read and write. During that period he worked for 
his board for James Wycoff. After learning to read he advanced very rapidly. 
By the first of January he had completed the first seven grades, taking a final 
examination in a class of four hundred and eighty-two and making a rank of 
seventy-six. He worked through the summer and in the fall again attended 
school at Casner, completing the work of the eighth, ninth and tenth grades. 
Because of his age he fully realized the importance of improving every moment 
in school and made such progress that in the following spring he secured the 
position of teacher in what was known as the Whistleville school at Fort Daniels 
at a salary of thirty-five dollars per month. This was the most that he had 
earned up to that time. In the following summer he entered the Western Nor- 
mal College at Bushnell, Illinois, after which he returned and taught the Prairie 
Hall school at fifty dollars per month. He attended the Western Normal again 
during the next summer and then under contract arranged to teach the Whistle- 
ville school for three years at a salary of fifty-five dollars per month. On clos- 
ing the school he took charge of a threshing outfit for the summer and then re- 
sumed his teaching with the approach of winter. 

Laudable ambition and unfaltering industry and determination constituted 
the salient points in his life and character during this period. In 1899 he en- 
tered the medical college at Keokuk, Iowa, and each summer during his college 
course operated a threshing machine. In the fall of 1900 he entered the St. 
Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons. Winning a scholarship in a com- 
petitive examination offered by the Missouri College of Law, he attended the 
law school at night in 1902 and the medical school in the day for two years. 
He was graduated in medicine in 1904 and has since engaged in practice. He is 
also a member of the Indiana bar and not only in professional fields has he won 
distinction but also in literary circles. In 1899 ne published the Blind Minister, 
a romance, and in 1900 brought out a pamplet on How to Read Character. In 
1901 he was the author of a series of twenty articles on Medico-Legal Juris- 
prudence and fifty-two articles on Botany. The first was published by a St. 
Louis house and the second by the Trainer Educational Journal. In 1905 he 
published a book of poems entitled "Secret Haunt of the Exile," and in 1909 
he began the publication of a journal known as the Coroner. 

In 1904 Dr. Buxton was elected coroner of Macon county as the candidate 
of the republican party. He walked over the entire county making his cam- 
paign on a capital of sixty-five dollars and winning the election by a majority 
of sixty-five votes over the head of the ticket. This was the most phenomenal 
election ever held in the county. In that year he received a majority of thirty- 
three hundred and seventy. In 1908 Dr. Buxton again became a candidate for 
the office and was reelected, so that he is the incumbent at the present time. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 317 

In 1905 Dr. Buxton was married to Miss Anna Strope, a daughter of 
Phineas and Mary J. (Zinn) Strope, both of whom were natives of Pennsyl- 
vania. They now have one child, Martha. 

Dr. Buxton belongs to various fraternities and social organizations, hold- 
ing membership with the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, the Red Men, 
the Eagles, the Woodmen, the Yeomen, the Brotherhood of American Yeomen, 
the Royal Neighbors, the Modern Americans, the Modern Brotherhood of 
America, the Mutual Protective League, the National Protective League, the 
Order of Pocahontas, the Woodmen of the World, the Woodmen Circle, the 
encampment of the Rebekah Lodge of the Odd Fellows and the Decatur Club. 
His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal 
church. He resides on Cleveland avenue where he owns a good home and other 
city property, including eight houses valued at fifteen thousand dollars. His life 
is a notable example of what may be accomplished when one has the will to dare 
and to do, the courage to face hardships, the endurance to meet difficulties. Com- 
ing to realize what might be accomplished if one were fitted for the duties and 
responsibilities of life, and fired by a laudable ambition to advance, Dr. Buxton 
has directed his efforts into channels demanding strong mentality and liberal 
culture. He is today a forceful man who has won for himself a creditable posi- 
tion in the world of affairs; becoming recognized as an influential factor in the 
city which he has chosen as his home. 



CHARLES A. DENISON. 

Honored and respected by all, no man in Argenta occupies a more promi- 
nent position in public regard than C. A. Denison. His life record, too, proves 
that success is not a matter of genius, as held by some, but is rather the out- 
come of clear judgment, experience and close application, for while Mr. Denison 
inherited much of his property, in its management and in further investment 
he has proven his ability, his keen sagacity and his unfaltering enterprise. Those 
qualities are always indispensable concomitants of success and have been features 
in giving to him the creditable place which he occupies in the ranks of Macon 
county's leading business men. A native of Illinois, Mr. Denison was born in 
Newberg, September 24, 1868, the only son of Dr. Charles N. Denison, whose 
sketch appears elsewhere in this work. 

He was reared in Macon county, largely acquiring his education in Decatur, 
where he was graduated from the high school with the class of 1888. He after- 
ward became a student in the State University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, 
completing the four years' literary course, and after his graduation he took up 
the study of law, devoting five and a half years to the mastery of the principles 
of jurisprudence. He was then graduated in the class of 1894 and located in 
Chicago, where he engaged in practice and also became a teacher and professor 
in a Chicago law school. He continued a member of the bar of that city until 
1904, when he retired to Argenta to care for his father and look after his in- 
terests here. In the management of the father's estate he displays marked busi- 



318 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

ness ability, carefully supervising investments and making new ones as his judg- 
ment dictates. 

On the 12th of December, 1905, Mr. Denison was married to Miss Mary O. 
Colby, who was reared and educated in Decatur. They established their home 
in Argenta, where they now reside but they have a wide acquaintance in Decatur 
and other parts of the county and are eagerly welcomed into the best homes of 
this part of the state. Mr. Denison is a prominent member of the Masonic 
fraternity, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter and commandery at Decatur, 
to the consistory at Peoria and also to the Mystic Shrine of that city. In politics 
he has been a life long republican but has never sought or desired office, pre- 
ferring: to devote his time to his extensive business interests. 



WILLIAM D. CREAMER. 

William D. Creamer, whose demise occurred in July, 1908, was for a num- 
ber of years successfully identified with agricultural interests in Maroa town- 
ship. His birth occurred in Clermont county, Ohio, in 1861, his parents be- 
ing John and Elizabeth Creamer, who spent their entire lives in the Buckeye 
state. The father died while a soldier of the Union army. Unto him and his 
wife were born six children, namely: Joseph, Mrs. Anna Long, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Garland, Mrs. Belle Long, William D. and Mrs. Malinda Hill. 

William D. Creamer spent the first twenty-two years of his life in Ohio 
and then came to Illinois, here working as a farm hand for a time. Subsequently 
he rented a tract of land in Dewitt county, in the cultivation of which he was- 
actively engaged for four years. In March, 1894, he purchased a farm of one 
hundred and six acres in Maroa township, Macon county, which he operated 
successfully until his demise and which is now in possession of his widow. He 
erected a handsome residence and substantial barn and made many other im- 
provements on the property. His labors as an agriculturist were attended with 
excellent results, and in his passing the community lost one of its most sub- 
stantial and respected citizens. 

In 1887 Mr. Creamer was united in marriage to Miss Minnie M. Grady, a 
daughter of John D. and Sarah J. (Wray) Grady, who were natives of Penn- 
sylvania. They came to Illinois more than a half a century ago, settling in 
Dewitt county. John D. Grady died in 1898 but is still survived by his wife, 
who now makes her home with her children. They had six children, two of 
whom died in infancy. The others are as follows: Thomas C, Vance R., Mrs. 
Creamer, and Mrs. Clara A. McKinney, of Macon county. Unto our subject 
and his wife were born five children, namely: Edna P., whose birth ocurred 
in 1888 and who is now the wife of Fred Morgenthalor, by whom she has one 
son, Emanuel; Wray R., who was born in 1890; Hazel B., whose natal year 
was 1892; Stanley J., whose birth occurred in 1896; and Vance G., born in 1899. 

In politics Mr. Creamer was a stanch democrat, while fraternally he was 
identified with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Knights of Pythias at 
Maroa. He passed away in the faith of the Methodist church in July, 1908, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 319 

and was deeply and sincerely mourned by all who knew him, for his life had 
been upright and honorable in all its relations. His widow now manages the 
home farm with the assistance of her sons. She is well known and highly es- 
teemed throughout the community, being a lady of many excellent qualities of 
heart and mind. 



HENRY J. SHAFER. 



Henry J. Shafer, a well known farmer and stock-raiser of Macon county, 
was born near Rochester, Sangamon county, Illinois, August 16, 1870. He is a 
son of Joseph and Caroline (Wilkin) Shafer, both of whom were born in West- 
phalia, Prussia. The father was born August 4, 1828, and the mother Septem- 
ber 19, 1824. They came to America in 1854 in the same ship, landing at New 
Orleans and traveling by water to Elkhart, Illinois. Mr. Shafer was provided 
only with money enough to carry him to the end of his journey and it was two 
years before he was married. That happy event occurred in March, 1856, at 
Springfield, Illinois, and for several years Mr. Shafer rented land near River- 
ton and also near Pleasant Plains, locating later at Rochester. He prospered in 
his work and in the fall of 1872 purchased one hundred and sixty acres in 
Niantic township, Macon county, which became the home place and cost forty- 
seven dollars and fifty cents per acre. He moved to his new home in March, 
1873, and began making improvements, building a comfortable, two-story house 
of six rooms in 1882. As his means increased he purchased more land until he 
had acquired four hundred acres in sections 21 and 28 and gained a reputation 
as one of the substantial farmers of the region. He departed this life March 
26, 1904, his wife have been called away August 6, 1890. Their remains were 
interred in Calvary cemetery, at Springfield, Illinois. Mr. Shafer was identified 
with the democratic party and was a stanch adherent of the Roman Catholic 
church of which his wife was also a member. He served as trustee of St. 
Mary's church at Illiopolis in the early days. 

Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shafer: Theresa, the wife 
of Peter Stoffel, of Springfield; Mary, who married Henry Harbauer and lived 
at Springfield, departing this life August 27, 1890; Joseph, a railway man of 
Englewood, Illinois, who married Betty O'Brien, of Springfield, and is the 
father of three children, Joseph, Leo and Marie; William, a farmer of Illiopolis, 
who was born in Sangamon county November 28, 1863, and married Katie 
Dwyer, of St. Louis, May 4, 1910; Anthony, who was born in 1865 and died 
in November, 1909; Elizabeth, who married John Swanson, of Springfield, in 
1895, and departed this life March 30, 1904, leaving two children, Clara and 
Samuel; and Henry J., our subject. 

Henry J. Shafer was brought by is parents to Macon county in his infancy 
and has ever since made his home on the farm which his father acquired in this 
county and has become one of the leading farmers of Niantic township. He 
has been very successful in his vocation, and in 1906 purchased one hundred 
and twenty acres of land in Sangamon county, near his home, at one hundred 



320 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

and fifty-five dollars per acre. His brother William bought eighty acres in 
the spring of 1910 on section 28, Niantic township, for which he paid one 
hundred and eighty-five dollars per acre, and also one hundred and sixty acres 
in Stoddard county, Missouri. 

On the 24th day of February, 1903, Henry J. Shafer was united in marriage 
to Miss Mary Kirby, of Illiopolis, and two children have been born to them, 
Helena and William Kirby. Mr. Shafer has been prominently connected with 
various movements of the farmers aiming to eliminate the middleman and is a 
director of the Illiopolis Farmers Grain Company which he and his brother as- 
sisted in organizing. He is a stockholder in the Niantic Farmers Elevator Com- 
pany, a state director of the Farmers Grain Dealers Association of Illinois and 
was assistant secretary of the Macon County Farmers Intitute in 1908 and 1909. 
He has also been a delegate to the County Farmers Congress and also to the 
state convention of farmers. He is interested in all matters pertaining to edu- 
cation and serves with great acceptance as school trustee of his district. He is 
highly popular among his brother farmers on account of his public spirit and 
the interest he has shown in agriculture and stock-raising, without expectation 
of direct financial reward. He is earnest, patriotic and capable and is justly en- 
titled to high credit for the excellent work he has accomplished. 



WILLIAM N. HUSTON. 

Upon the farm have been reared many of the best men and women of our 
republic and it is a fact often demonstrated that in agricultural regions are de- 
veloped the strongest bodies and brightest minds, so that the cities are con- 
stantly looking to the farm for new supplies of energy and ability. However, 
not all the promising young men are absorbed by the cities. Many of our most 
successful and progressive farmers were born in the same county where they 
now live and among this number is William H. Huston, whose name stands at 
the head of this review. 

He was born in Macon county, March 2, 1865, and is a son of Ulysses and 
Matilda (McRay) Huston, natives of Ohio, the former born in 1828 and the 
latter in 1829. The father emigrated to Illinois about 1840 and settled in 
Macon county. He first occupied the homestead where our subject lives but 
finally took up his residence on eighty acres in the same neighborhood, where 
he continued to make his home until he was called away in 1902. He was 
prominently identified with the republican party in this county and served for a 
number of years as justice of the peace. He was a man of marked ability and 
one who inspired confidence and respect in all with whom he came in contact. 
The mother of our subject departed this life in 1885. There were seven chil- 
dren in the family: Phoebe, now Mrs. R. McKay; Robert; Oris; Martha, now 
Mrs. B. Major; Jane, deceased; William N., our subject; and Minnie, now 
Mrs. J. Tory. 

William N. Huston was educated in the public schools and after laying aside 
his books continued with his father upon the farm until arriving at twenty- 




MR. AND MRS. W. X. HUSTON 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 323 

one years of age, when he took unto himself a life companion and began farming 
upon his own account by renting land in the neighborhood. He is engaged in 
general farming, stock-raising and is recognized as one of the substantial and 
clear-headed men of his community. 

In 1886 Mr. Huston was united in marriage to Miss Irene Major, a daugh- 
ter of Joseph and Sarah (Beal) Major, natives of Ohio, who came to Illinois 
and here established a home. They were the parents of nine children, eight of 
whom are now living. To Mr. and Mrs. Huston three children were born: 
Florence, born in 1887, who married Frank Jones, of Mt. Zion, and has two 
children, Orval Fayette; Lola, born in 1892, who married Robert Ford and has 
become the mother of two children, Monta and Roy, the family living with our 
subject; and Roy, born in 1894, who is also living at home. In 1897 Mr. Huston 
was called upon to mourn the departure of his beloved wife, who was an esti- 
mable woman of many noble qualities and had many friends in this neighbor- 
hood who sincerely mourned her death. 

Mr. Huston has been successful in his farming operations, as he knows 
how to direct his energies so as to produce a desired result. He is a man of 
good common sense, always straightforward in his dealings and fully alive to 
the importance of keeping informed as to the development along agricultural 
lines. Politically he is in sympathy with the republican party, believing that its 
principles are better adapted than those of any other party for the maintenance 
of the Union. Socially he holds membership in Lodge No. 1597 of the Modern 
Woodmen of America, of Bearsdale, Illinois. 



SOLOMON B. BETZ. 



Among the residents of Argenta who have retired from active business life, 
and in well earned rest are enjoying the fruits of their former toil Solomon B. 
Betz is numbered. For twenty-seven years he was closely associated with the 
farming and stock-raising interests of Macon county and is still the owner of 
two good farms in Friends Creek township. He has lived in this county since 
1867 and has, therefore, witnessed much of its growth and progress. Pennsyl- 
vania numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in North- 
umberland county, December 17, 1838. His father was Solomon Betz, a native 
of the Keystone state, and his grandfather also bore the name of Solomon. He 
was a native of Germany, born in 1735, and in young manhood came to the new 
world. Here he espoused the cause of the colonists in the struggle for independ- 
ence, serving as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His son, Solomon Betz, 
Jr., was reared to manhood in the Keystone state and, having arrived at years of 
maturity, was married in Northumberland county to Miss Catherine Dunkel, a 
native of Pennsylvania. In 1839 he removed to Pickaway county, Ohio, and 
developed a farm upon the Pickaway plains, converting a tract of wild land into 
productive fields. Upon that place he reared his family and afterward came to 
Illinois, spending his last years in Champaign county. His wife, however, had 
died in Ohio. 



324 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Solomon B. Betz, whose name introduces this record, was reared on the old 
home farm in the Buckeye state. He is largely a self-educated man because of 
the poor condition of the schools in the period of his youth and also because 
his labors were needed upon the farm when he was yet in his minority. His 
patriotic nature was aroused by the attempt of the south to overthrow the 
Union and on the 16th of August, 1862, he joined the Ninetieth Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry, being assigned to duty with Company F. The regiment became a part 
of the Army of the Cumberland and Mr. Betz was first under fire at Richmond, 
Kentucky, and later at Stone River, where he was wounded by a shell in the 
right arm. This disabled him for four months. He later participated in a 
number of skirmishes as the troops followed General Morgan in Kentucky and 
afterwards he participated in the battles of Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga 
and Nashville. He was with the command that drove General Hood out of 
Tennessee and afterward participated in the battle of Asheville. He sustained 
a slight wound at Kenesaw Mountain but this did not incapacitate him for duty 
and he served with his regiment until the close of the war, being mustered out 
at Nashville and then honorably discharged, in June 1865. 

Mr. Betz returned home with a creditable military record, for he had never 
faltered in the performance of any duty. Making his way northward to Ohio, 
he and his brother Charles purchased a farm of one hundred and sixty acres, 
which he cultivated for a year and then sold. At that time he came direct to 
Macon county, Illinois, in company with his brother and they invested in one 
hundred and sixty acres, which they owned, occupied and operated together 
for six years, at the end of which time they divided their interests. Subsequently 
Solomon B. Betz purchased another farm but remained upon the old home place. 
His second farm comprises one hundred and forty-seven acres, constituting a 
well improved property. He built a good house on his first place, east of Argenta, 
and year after year carefully tilled the fields, which responded to his labor in 
generous harvests. He was thus actively engaged in farming until 1896, when 
he rented both of his places and removed to Argenta, building there a residence 
which he now occupies. 

On the 31st of March, 1869, Mr. Betz was married in this county to Miss 
Margaret C. Wilson, a native of the county and a daughter of D. K. Wlison, one 
of the first settlers, who came from Tennessee to this state. Mr. and Mrs. 
Betz have three living children: Ida S., now the wife of Robert Fullerton, of 
Sac county, Iowa; Arthur, who is married and is a resident farmer of Macon 
county ; and Willis, who is married and occupies the old home farm west of 
town. The parents are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church of 
Argenta and Mr. Betz belongs to the Grand Army post at that place, of which 
he has served as chaplain for twenty-six years. He has also been post com- 
mander and is popular with his old army comrades. In politics he is a republi- 
can, supporting the party where state and national issues are involved but cast- 
ing an independent local ballot. He first voted in i860, when he supported Bell 
and Everett, but in 1864 gave his political allegiance to Abraham Lincoln and 
has voted for each presidential nominee of the party since that time. He would 
never consent to hold political office but for twenty-one years has acted as 
school trustee. In all matters of citizenship he is loyal and progressive, mani- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 325 

festing the same fidelity to the old flag that he displayed when he followed the 
starry banner upon the battlefields of the south. His capable management of 
his farming interests has made him a prosperous resident of the county and 
his example proves what may be accomplished through determined and resolute 
purpose and straightforward dealing. 



GEORGE A. JIMISON. 

Farming interests claimed the time and energies of George A. Jimison for 
many years and he is still the owner of a good tract of land adjoining Argenta — 
a tract of one hundred and ninety-two acres. In addition to this he owns another 
place of one hundred and seventy acres and a third farm of eighty acres, all 
three being well improved places which adjoin the corporation limits of the 
town. His home is an attractive residence in the village and from this point he 
supervises his agricultural affairs. He is one of Macon county's native sons, 
his birth having occurred within a mile of Argenta on the ioth of September, 
1841. His father, George Jimison, was born in Scotland in 1810 and was a 
son of John Jimison, who came from the land of hills and heather to the new 
world, settling first in Canada, where his son George was reared to manhood. 
Having reached adult age, the latter married Hannah Jimison, a native of Canada, 
and for several years followed farming in that country. He afterward crossed 
the border into the United States, making his home near Bucyrus, Ohio, until 
1839, when he came to Macon county, Illinois. This was then a wild and un- 
improved district, much of the land still belonging to the government, while 
the work of development seemed scarcely begun. He entered one hundred and 
sixty acres near the present site of Argenta and began the development of a 
farm. Upon this place he spent his remaining days, continuing its cultivation 
until his death, which occurred in April, 1853, when he was forty-three years 
of age. His wife survived him until 1857, when she, too, was called to her 
final rest. 

George A. Jimison was reared upon the old homestead farm, remaining 
with his father until the latter's death and then with his mother until her de- 
mise. He was only sixteen years of age when his mother passed away, at which 
time he inherited a part of the old homestead and later he bought out the interest 
of the other heirs in the property. He has made farming his life work and that 
he has been industrious and energetic is indicated in the success which he now 
enjoys. 

In February, 1868, Mr. Jimison was united in marriage to Miss Molly J. 
Woodward, who was born in this state and reared in Macon county. The young 
couple began their domestic life on a farm west of Argenta, having there forty 
acres of land, to which Mr. Jimison added by purchasing the interests of the 
other heirs in the old homestead until his holdings embraced one hundred and 
sixty acres. He continued the work of improvement and development and suc- 
cess crowned his labors. As his financial resources increased he added to his hold- 
ings by investing in a farm of one hundred and seventy acres east of Argenta 



326 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

and, removing to that place, built thereon a good residence and barns and added 
other modern equipments and accessories. Afterward he made purchase of a 
farm of eighty acres south of the town and was busily engaged in the cultivation 
of his fields through all the passing years until 1899, when he rented his farms 
and took up his abode in the town, where he still resides. He carried on general 
agricultural pursuits, cultivating the crops best adapted to soil and climate and 
also raising and feeding stock. He handled about a carload of steers and one 
or two carloads of hogs each year and his business in this connection was ex- 
tensive and profitable. 

In 1869 Mr. Jimison was called upon to mourn the loss of his first wife, who 
died leaving a son, Theodore, who is now married and resides in Granite City, 
Illinois. He was a soldier of the United States army for thirteen years, and 
served in the Spanish- American war with the rank of sergeant major. He has 
a son, John. After losing his first wife Mr. Jimison was married in 1871 to 
Mrs. Elizabeth E. Mulinix and their children were: Minnie, the wife of Albert 
Gould, of Rock Island, Illinois, and the mother of one son, Orin ; Lillie, the wife 
of Bun Parr, of Moline, by whom she has one son, Morris; Mollie, the wife 
of Charles Majors, of Argenta; Ida, the wife of David Cooper, a farmer living 
at Argenta; and George W., who is living on one of his father's farms. He is 
married and has four sons: Purley, Cecil, Paul and Ralph. By her former 
marriage Mrs. Elizabeth Jimison had two sons: John Mulinix, living in Argenta; 
and Ord, who is married and occupies one of Mr. Jimison's farms. The mother 
of these children passed away in Argenta in 1908 and her remains were interred 
in the cemetery here. 

In his political views Mr. Jimison is a democrat and keeps well informed on 
the questions and issues of the day but has no desire for the honors and emolu- 
ments of public office. He is a careful, conservative business man who has spent 
his entire life in Macon county and is well known in Decatur and this part of 
the state. His life work is represented in three well improved farms which re- 
turn to him an excellent income and which mark him as one of the representa- 
tive and progressive agriculturists of the community. He deserves the rest 
which he is now enjoying, as it has come to him as the fitting crown of his 
previous earnest and intelligently directed labor. 



HENRY JOSTES. 

It will be readily acknowledged by those who have studied the history of 
the United States and are familiar with the nationalities that have contributed 
to the life and growth of the republic that native sons of Germany have assisted 
very materially in the upbuilding of the country. Thousands of the most 
promising young men of the fatherland have sought fortune under the stars 
and stripes and here found a land of opportunity which yields abundantly to 
the hand of labor and seldom disappoints an aspirant for financial independence 
who strives energetically and faithfully. Indeed, it is doubtful whether any 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 327 

other country of the world ever offered such advantages as have been presented 
for fifty or one hundred years past under the American Union. 

Henry Jostes at eighteen years of age, a native of Germany and ambitious 
to win an honored name for himself, bade farewell to familiar scenes and 
emigrated to this country. Here he found what he longed for and today, liv- 
ing retired at the town of Macon, Macon county, he occupies an elegant resi- 
dence located on a beautiful tract of five acres, which he has ornamented with 
trees and shrubbery, making it one of the most desirable homesteads in the 
county. He is also the owner of a fine Macon county farm and is recognized 
as one of the leading men of the county. He was born April 8, 1839, a son 
of William F. and Catherine Jostes. The parents came to America in 1870, the 
mother passing away soon after her arrival and the father in 1877, when he had 
arrived at the age of seventy-seven years. There were four children in their 
family, two of whom are now living: Henry, our subject; and Amelia, now the 
wife of John Rahler, a farmer of Shelby county, Illinois. 

Educated in the common schools of his native land, Henry Jostes came to 
the United States in 1857 and began his active career on a farm where the 
town of Boody, Macon county, now stands. In July, 1861, he responded to the 
call of President Lincoln and enlisted in Company E, Forty-first Illinois Volun- 
teer Infantry, which served in the Sixteenth Army Corps and later in the 
Seventeenth Army Corps under command of Generals McPherson and Sher_- 
man. He participated in a number of leading battles, among which were Fort 
Donelson and Hatchie's Run and also in the sieges of Corinth and Vicks- 
burg. He was present in many minor engagements and continued in the army 
for three years, receiving his honorable discharge at Springfield, Illinois, in 
August, 1864. He was born of good fighting material and was a brave and 
true soldier for the Union. After returning home Mr. Jostes took unto himself 
a wife and purchased forty acres of wild land in Blue Mound township, Macon 
county, which he proceeded to develop with a patience and industry that led to 
highly satisfactory results. Later he acquired more land and at the present 
time is the owner of a highly improved farm of three hundred and twenty acres 
in Blue Mound township. He and his wife began their married life in a little 
log cabin but after a few years this was replaced by a neat two story frame resi- 
dence, which was provided with all the comforts of life. In 1896 Mr. Jostes 
located in Macon, where he and his wife are enjoying the fruits of many 
years of well applied labor. 

On the 1 2th of January, 1865, Mr. Jostes was united in marriage to Miss 
Julia Shoop, born in Pennsylvania, March 3, 1843, an ^ a daughter of Daniel 
and Lena (Yoder) Shoop. She came with her parents to Macon county when 
she was four years of age and here the father died in 1854, the mother being 
called away at the age of sixty-one years, in 1888. Of the children born to 
Mr. and Mrs. Shoop three are now living: Julia, herein mentioned; Matilda, the 
wife of Jacob Snider, a farmer living near Sterling, Illinois; and Rosa, who 
married Peter Moss, who followed farming near Blue Mound, Macon county. 
Eight children blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jostes: Emma, the wife of 
William Fedderman, a farmer living near Moweaqua; Agnes, deceased in in- 
fancy; William, who graduated from Brown's Business College of Decatur and 



328 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

is a farmer of Pleasant View township; Mary, now Mrs. Richard Dorsey, of 
Pleasant View township; Frederick, who also graduated from Brown's Busi- 
ness College and is living in this county; Benjamin, of this county; Lena, the 
wife of Frank Phillips, of Macon; Lillie; and Erne. 

Mr. Jostes is an adherent of the republican party and holds membership 
in the Grand Army post at Macon. He has taken a deep interest in educational 
affairs and served as school director for eleven years, performing his duties 
with an ability that met the hearty approval of people of the district. His wife 
and daughters are active members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are 
intelligent workers for every good cause. Coming to this country in his young 
manhood, Mr. Jostes allied himself heartily with its institutions and demonstrated 
his patriotism by service in support of the flag when the life of the republic 
was threatened. Always governed by principles of honor and fidelity to right 
he years ago became recognized as one of the substantial and reliable citizens 
of Macon county and no man in the county is more highly honored. 



HON. JAMES M. GRAY. 

The history of the Decatur bar during the past two decades would be in- 
complete and unsatisfactory were there failure to make prominent reference to 
Hon. James M. Gray, recognized throughout this period as one of the most 
distinguished lawyers of Macon county and this part of the state. In no pro- 
fession is there a career more open to talent than in that of the law and in no 
field of endeavor is there demanded a more careful preparation, a more thorough 
appreciation for the absolute ethics of life or of the underlying principles which 
form the basis of all human rights and privileges. Unflagging application, an 
intuitive wisdom and a determination to fully utilize the means at hand are 
the concomitants which insure personal success and prestige in this great pro- 
fession which stands as the stern conservator of justice. Possessing all the 
requisite qualities of the able lawyer, Mr. Gray is carving his name deeply upon 
the history of the courts of central Illinois. 

A native of Illinois, Mr. Gray was born in Ramsey, Fayette county, on the 
ist of June, 1862, a son of Richard H. and Emily (Hall) Gray, both of whom 
were descended from prominent southern families. The father was a native 
of Coles county, Illinois, his parents having removed to this state from Ten- 
nessee shortly before his birth. The mother of James M. Gray was born in 
Fayette county, her parents having come from Kentucky. Richard H. Gray 
was identified with farming interests during his active life but is now living retired. 
His wife died in 1887 and about 1890 he removed to Ramsey, where he has 
since made his home, resting from the arduous cares and labors which, occupied 
his attention in former years. In politics he has ever been an ardent democrat 
and for a long period was a dominant factor in the local councils of his party. 
Wherever he has lived he has commanded the respect and good will of his fellow- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 329 

James M. Gray was reared at home, acquiring his education in the district 
schools and at Ramsey high school, from which he was graduated with the class 
of 1880. His thirst for education, however, was not yet satisfied and he entered 
the Valparaiso (Ind.) University. After a year there spent he took up the 
profession of teaching, which he followed for three years, when he again en- 
tered Valparaiso University and completed the scientific course, being graduated 
with the Bachelor of Science degree in the class of 1886. He resumed teaching, 
to which he devoted the succeeding two years but during that period gave the 
hours that are usually termed leisure to the study of law under the preceptor- 
ship of Henry & Foulke, of Vandalia, Illinois. He then returned to the 
Valparaiso University for a two years' course in law and on its completion 
was graduated with the class of 1890, the degree of LL. B. being conferred upon 
him. The last year he was honored with election as president of his class and 
during his college days he was prominent in debate and in the political activity 
of the school. His ability in debate brought him before the public in political 
connections and has ever kept him a prominent factor in political circles be- 
cause of his power in presenting clearly, strongly and forcibly the vital and 
scientific questions of the day. 

Following the completion of his law course in June, 1890, Mr. Gray came 
at once to Decatur, was admitted to the Illinois bar and entered into partner- 
ship with James M. Lee for the practice of law. A year later, however, their 
business relations were dissolved and Mr. Gray practiced independently for 
fourteen years but on the 1st of July, 1905, he formed a partnership with I. A. 
Buckingham and has since been a member of the well known firm of Buck- 
ingham & Gray, occupying today a most conspicuous and honorable position 
in connection with the work of the courts in their district. For years Mr. Gray 
was retained as attorney on some of the most prominent criminal cases of this 
section but in more recent years he has confined his attention to a more general 
line of practice. The firm of Buckingham & Gray is one of the most promi- 
nent in this section of the state, their clientage extending over several coun- 
ties. Mr. Gray is particularly strong in argument and seldom if ever at fault 
in the application of a legal principle. Moreover, he prepares for defense as 
well as attack and in many forensic encounters he has come off victor in the 
strife. 

His activity and influence in political circles are well known. He has taken 
an active part in politics since 1884 and in 1888 was one of the prominent cam- 
paign speakers. In the former year he attended the national democratic conven- 
tion in Chicago, which nominated Grover Cleveland, although at the time he was 
only twenty-two years of age. There he became acquainted with a number of 
the distinguished political leaders of the country. In 1890, when he came to 
Decatur, he engaged actively in politics here and within a month was placed 
on the democratic county committee and in the spring of 1891 was made chair- 
main of the city committee. He has been a delegate to every state conven- 
tion since establishing his home in Decatur and for the past twelve years has 
been chairman of the delegation. In 1898 he was elected to the Illinois legis- 
lature from this senatorial district, was reelected in 1900 and again in 1902 and 
1904, when he refused longer to accept the nomination. During the eight years 



330 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

of his service he took a most active part in legislative work, was chairman of 
the democratic caucus during the third term and chairman of the democratic 
steering committee during the fourth term, which appointment gave to him 
the floor leadership of his party. His personal popularity and the confidence 
uniformly reposed in him as a citizen, public spirit and loyal devotion to the 
general good is indicated in the fact that he is the only democrat that was ever 
elected for more than two terms from this district in the history of the party. 
In 1908 he was elected a delegate to the national convention at Denver and he 
is now serving as chairman of the democratic city committee as well as chairman 
of the executive committee of the county organization. Since 1898 he has been 
a recognized leader in democratic ranks in this part of the state and in this as 
in every other cause which he champions Mr. Gray is untiring in his efforts to 
attain success. 

On the 14th of June, 1894, occurred the marriage of James M. Gray and Miss 
Lillian M. Belt, of Bunker Hill, Illinois, a daughter of J. H. Belt, formerly a promi- 
nent banker of that place but now deceased. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gray have been 
born two children, James M. and Lucile B. Fraternally Mr. Gray is connected 
with the Masonic lodge, is also a Knight Templar Mason and a member of 
Peoria Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He also holds membership in Decatur 
Lodge No. 401, B. P. O. E., and along more strictly social lines is connected 
with the Decatur Club and the Country Club of Decatur. His cooperation in 
community affairs is of a practical resultant character. He belongs to the 
Chamber. of Commerce and aids in various measures which that organization pro- 
motes for the welfare of the city. His professional connections are with the 
local Bar Association and with the Illinois State Bar Association and of the 
former he is a director. His advancement at the bar has followed as the natural 
sequence of his ability and earnest purpose. He is remarkable among lawyers 
for the wide research and provident care with which he prepares his cases. 
His logical grasp of facts and principles of the law applicable to them has been 
another potent element in his success and the remarkable clearness of expression 
and adequate and precise diction which enables him to make others under 
stand not only the salient points of his argument but his very fine gradations 
of meaning may be accounted one of his most conspicuous gifts and accomplish- 
ments. 



WILLIAM T. BEADLES. 

William T. Beadles was a native of Cass county, Illinois, born May 13, 1838, 
and he lived a remarkably active and useful life of sixty-six years. The family 
settled in Macon county in 1851 and for over fifty years Mr. Beadles was a 
resident of this county, except for a few years which he spent in Moultrie county, 
Illinois. He was a farmer and conducted his affairs so prudently that he ac- 
quired a handsome competence, represented by one of the finest farms in the 
county. After a useful and well spent life he passed away February 18, 1904. 




MR. AND MRS. \V. T. BEAD1 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 333 

In 1862 Mr. Beadles was happily married to Miss Charlotte C. Hopkins of 
Macon county, who survives her husband and is now living in a substantial home 
at No. 1040, West Wood street, Decatur, Illinois. She recently disposed of the 
farm and is spending the evening of her life surrounded by those whom most 
most she loves. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Beadles, eight of 
whom are now living namely: H. H, a farmer living one mile south of De- 
catur; M. D., a farmer of Barstow, Texas; C. R., a real-estate dealer of Chi- 
cago; W. T., Jr., who died in Nelson, British Columbia, in 1901 ; Marquis H., 
a letter carrier of Decatur; Mrs. Katherine Cable, whose husband is a Methodist 
minister of Woodbine, Iowa; Mrs. Sarah Burke, whose husband is a mail clerk 
on the Wabash Railroad from Toledo to St. Louis and lives in Decatur; Frank 
Bartram, who died in 1891 at the age of ten years; Mrs. Grace McHose, whose 
husband is assistant editor of the Times-Herald at Burns, Oregon; and Albert 
N., with the Evangelical Publishing Company of Chicago. 

At the age of seventeen years William T. Beadles was converted to the 
Christian religion at Mount Zion, Macon county, and from that time during 
a period of forty-nine years he was an earnest member of the Methodist 
church. It became a fixed principle of his life to work for others. He served 
as Sunday school teacher, steward, class leader, trustee, Sunday school su- 
perintendent, and at all times put his entire energy into his work. He was for 
many years township president of the Sunday school and at the time of his 
death, notwithstanding his advanced years, was superintendent of the home 
department in the Sunday school of Grace church and superintendent of a mis- 
sion Sunday school. He devoted the tenth of all his yearly income to the cause 
of religion and sacredly adhered to this principle through life. He was an 
uncompromising opponent of the liquor traffic and did everything possible to 
advance the cause of temperance. Learning at one time that a union church 
was about to be sold under mortgage he assumed the debt, secured a preacher 
and kept the church alive. His life has been epitomized by one who said : "He 
lived on the heights of constant trust." It is said that even in his last illness, 
while in delirium, he spoke as if pleading with some individual to come to 
Christ. 



ANDY MILLER. 



Among the representative men of Macon county is Andy Miller, of Niantic 
township. He is one of the active and capable farmers of a community noted 
for the ability of its members and, although he has never sought public office or 
coveted notoriety, he has scored a success in his business and has attained a pros- 
perity which indicates sound judgement and good management. He is a native 
of St. Clair county, Illinois, where he was born December 1, 1856, a son of 
John and Rebecca Miller. The father was born in Germany and came to 
America with his parents when he was a small boy, his father, the grandfather 
of our subject, being called away very soon after he landed in this country. 
John Miller grew to manhood in Illinois and in St. Clair county was married to 



334 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Rebecca (Thomson) Simpson, who was a native of that county. About 1865 
Mr. Miller located in Macon county on the land now ocupied by the subject of 
this review. He was an industrious and economical man and became the owner 
of sixty acres in Niantic township and eighty acres of good fanning land in 
Harristown township. He died in January, 1906, and his wife followed him 
to the grave in December of the same year. There were seven children in their 
family, all of whom are now living except William, who died at the age of 
thirty-eight years. 

Andy Miller grew up as a farmer boy and was educated in the district schools, 
becoming well acquainted with the various classes of work upon the farm, so that 
when he was ready to begin active life for himself he needed little further in- 
struction. He devoted his services to the family until he arrived at twenty- 
one years of age and then he rented the home farm which he has since culti- 
vated. He and his two sisters, Clemmie and Clara, bought out the other heirs 
except the interest of one sister, Eva Oliver, who still retains her share in the 
property. The place has been developed into one of the most productive farms 
in this part of the country. 

Although the father was reared a Catholic and the mother died in the faith of 
the Baptist church, the subject of this review is not connected with any religious 
denomination but is friendly toward them all. Industrious and capable in what 
he undertakes, he has made many improvements on the farm, providing it 
with modern machinery and facilities, with the necessary buildings, fences and 
all the accessories of an up-to-date establishment. At the same time he has shown 
the interest of a patriotic citizen in the progress of the community and has made 
many friends by his genial spirit which is one of his prominent characteristics. 
He may, therefore, be regarded as one of the fortunate citizens of Macon county. 



JOHN B. MATTHEW, M. D. 

Among the citizens of Macon county it would be difficult to name one who 
occupies a higher place in the esteem of the people of the county than the gentle- 
man whose name stands at the head of this review. A native of Illinois, he has 
all his life been closely identified with the interests of this state and in professional 
and business circles has gained a reputation as one of the progressive and sub- 
stantial men of the commonwealth. He owes his remarkable success mainly to 
his own energy and ability and to the good judgment that has been a promi- 
nent characteristic of his life. Always courteous and affable, his integrity is 
above question and his honor above reproach. As a physician he has been un- 
usually successful and he stands deservedly high among his professional brethren. 

Born in Christian county, this state, March 2, 1850, Dr. Matthew is a son 
of Oscar F. and Margaret (Britton) Matthew. The father was a native of 
Virginia, born January 30, 1824, and departed this life February 12, 1881, at 
the age of fifty-seven years, being buried in Brunk's cemetery at Cotton Hill, 
Sangamon county. He was one of the early settlers of that county, with which 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 335 

his name will ever be identified. Arriving here in 1836, he located on a farm 
near Springfield and as the years passed associated with many of the leading 
men of Illinois, among whom were Abraham Lincoln, Governor Yates, Senator 
Cullom and others whose names are prominent in the history of the state. He 
helped to haul the stone with which the old state house, now the courthouse of 
Springfield, was built and he and David Beam hauled the tiling from St. Louis 
that is in Bunn's Bank at Springfield. After the' bank was built and ready for 
business the authorities of the state of Illinois desired to make a deposit of 
cash and Mr. Matthew, Jacob Bunn and two other men went to St. Louis and 
brought the money overland to Springfield. There were many thousands of 
dollars involved and the money, in gold and silver, was packed in ax boxes so 
as to avoid suspicion on the part of inquisitive persons. It was brought safely 
through without military guard to the great satisfaction of the state officials 
and the bank officers. 

The mother of our subject was born at Chillicothe, Ohio, December 2, 1821, 
and died December 16, 1898, after a long life of many useful and unselfish acts. 
She was the daughter of Benjamin Britton, who was a soldier in the Mexican 
war. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Matthew, six of whom are 
living: W. S., prominently identified with the Methodist church, who served as 
presiding elder of the church at San Francisco, California, for eight years, 
and is now in charge of the First Methodist church of Boise City, Idaho; John B., 
of this review; Rebecca Jane, the widow of Daniel Puffenberger, now residing 
in Edinburg, Illinois; Thomas L., a farmer of Oxford, Kansas; Lafayette Lin- 
coln, a live-stock shipper of Edinburg; and May Matilda, the wife of John T. 
Vigol, of Mexico, Missouri. 

Dr. Matthew received his preliminary education at Cotton Hill Academy, 
Sangamon county. Laying aside his books for a time, he turned his attention 
to farming but soon came to the conclusion that his tastes lay along professional 
lines, and many years' experience have demonstrated that his conclusion was 
correct. He began his medical studies under Drs. J. H. and L. H. Clark, two 
prominent practitioners of Taylorville, Christian county, and later entered the 
American Medical College at St. Louis, graduating after a course of four years, 
May 22, 1875, with the title of M. D. Later he pursued a post-graduate course at 
Tulane University of New Orleans and in 1909, in recognition of his distinguished 
services, was granted the honorary degree of M. D. by Bennett Medical College 
of Chicago. Dr. Matthew began practice at Mount Auburn, Illinois, where he 
continued with marked success for seventeen years, but on the 9th of Novem- 
ber, 1892, he located at Blue Mound, where he has since continued. 

On the 24th of March, 1868, Dr. Matthew was united in marriage to Miss 
Amanda E. Lawley, who was born at Crow's Mill, Sangamon county, June 9. 
1849, and is a daughter of William B. and Sarah (Duncan) Lawley. Her father 
was a native of Tennessee, born in 1820, and her mother was born in the same 
state in 1830. Mr. Lawley, who was a farmer of Sangamon county, departed 
this life in 1880, his wife being called away fourteen years later. Their remains 
were interred in Cotton Hill cemetery. Eight children were born unto Mr. and 
Mrs. Lawley, four of whom are now living. The family record is as follows: 
D. W., who at the age of seventy-five is now living retired at Cotton Hill, Illi- 



336 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

nois; Elijah, deceased; Amanda E., now Mrs. Matthew; Sarah, the wife of 
William Knotts, of Chatham, Sangamon county; Leonard W., a farmer of Cot- 
ton Hill ; James P., now postmaster of Glenarm, Sangamon county ; and Thomas 
and Jerome, deceased. Three of the sons performed valiant service under the 
stars and stripes in the war of the Rebellion, these being D. W., Elijah and 
James P., who were members of the One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois 
Volunteer Infantry under Colonel Samuel Shoup. 

Five children have been born unto Dr. and Mrs. Matthew, three of whom 
died in infancy, and Charles Edgar died at the age of thirty years. William 
Oscar Matthew, the only surviving member of the family, was born at Mount 
Auburn, July 17, 1881. After attending the public schools, he graduated from 
the high school of Blue Mound and for five years was a student at the North- 
western University at Evanston, Illinois. After completing his education he 
turned his attention to farming and has charge of four hundred and fifty-nine 
acres, which originally belonged to his father, but of which two hundred and 
eighty acres had been deeded to the son. Here he has engaged extensively in 
general farming and in the raising of cattle, hogs and sheep. In 1907 he was 
united in marriage to Miss Bessie Beckett, a daughter of John B. Beckett, of 
Blue Mound. She was a student of Northwestern University and is an ac- 
complished lady of fine mental endowments. They have one son, Solon Beckett 
Matthew, who was born April 7, 1910. 

Dr. Matthew is actively identified with a number of medical societies and 
for ten years past has been treasurer of the Illinois State Eclectic Medical Soci- 
ety. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the Illinois State 
Medical Society, the National and Illinois State Eclectic Medical Societies, the 
Macon County Medical Society and other organizations of a similiar nature. He 
is examiner for the Equitable Life Insurance Company of New York; the 
Franklin of Springfield; the Prudential; the Fidelity Mutual and the Bankers 
Life Insurance Companies of Illinois and of Des Moines, Iowa; and the John 
Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company and others; and is also examiner 
for a number of fraternal organizations. He has for a number of years been 
a member of the Masonic order and has taken the blue lodge and Royal Arch 
degrees. In politics he is a stanch republican. Dr. Matthew has been an ex- 
tensive traveler in this country, beginning in 1876, when he visited Philadelphia 
and other eastern cities. In 1902 he and his wife made an extensive tour of 
the west and three years later they visited New Orleans and the south. In 1909 
the Doctor spent two months in Texas and Mexico and few men are better informed 
concerning the resources and possibilities of America. In business affairs he 
has been highly successful and in addition to his farm he owns eighteen tenant 
houses and one of the most beautiful private residences in this part of the state. 
He has through life been a close observer, thus learning a great deal that is not 
laid down in books, and is a generous contributor to all worthy enterprises. He 
is a willing worker in every cause that seeks to advance the community or to 
alleviate the ills of those less fortunate than himself. In his good works he finds 
a sympathetic assistant in his estimable wife, who has proven in all respects 
a worthy helpmate. Dr. and Mrs. Matthew are both members of the Methodist 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 337 

church and she is actively connected with the Ladies' Aid Society, the Mission- 
ary Society of that organization and also with the Order of the Eastern Star. 
As leaders in their community they deserve prominent mention in the history 
of Macon county. 



JACOB E. CHAPMAN. 



Jacob E. Chapman, a prosperous farmer of Blue Mound township, Macon 
county, who has won his way to fortune through many difficulties, was born in Nor- 
folk, England, February 20, 1848. He is a son of John and Mary Ann (Wymer) 
Chapman and came with his parents to America when he was five years of age. 
The family stopped for a time in New York and later moved to Indiana, finally 
locating in Macon county, this state, in 1864, where the parents were called to 
their reward. Eleven children were born to them, six of whom are now living : 
Jacob E. ; J. M., a resident of Decatur; Delbert and William W., both of Blue 
Mound township; John W., of Decatur; and Ida, the wife of Frank Brown, of 
Blue Mound township. Those deceased are: Charles, who died at twenty year's 
of age ; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Newton Howland ; Harriet, who mar- 
ried John Howland; Margaret, who married Irvin Hill; and one who died in 
infancy. 

Jacob E. Chapman possessed little opportunity for education but attended the 
public schools for a short time in New York and later in Indiana. At fourteen 
years of age the family requiring his assistance, he began working on his own 
account, receiving five dollars per month, and of this amount he gave half to 
his parents. At fifteen he was receiving seven dollars per month and at sixteen 
his wages were advanced to fifteen dollars per month, half of which he con- 
tributed to the family treasury. The first man he worked for near Decatur 
was George Forest, who has long been dead. He returned to Indiana for a 
year and then again took up his residence near Cerro Gordo and Oakley, Illi- 
nois, receiving as high as forty dollars per month for his labor. At thirty-one 
years of age he was married and settled on eighty acres in Macon county, which 
he leased for five years. This land is located in section 5, Blue Mound town- 
ship, and now belongs to Mrs. Chapman. She also own twenty acres of tim- 
ber land on section 31 and he is the owner of two hundred and ninety-five acres 
on section 5 ; eighty acres on section 6 ; eighty acres on section 5 ; and one hun- 
dred and thirty-five acres on section 3. Seven years ago he built a handsome 
residence and made a number of improvements in 1907, so that the farm is one 
of the finest properties in the township. He carries on general farming and 
stock-raising and has been highly prosperous in his undertakings. 

On December 24, 1880, Mr. Chapman was united in marriage to Miss Maria 
Evans, who was born in Blue Mound township, March 26, 1854. She is a 
daughter of William and Elizabeth (Stith) Evans, her father having been born 
in Ohio, March 1, 1820, and her mother in Indiana. Mrs. Evans was called 
away September 12, 1897, and Mr. Evans, May 28, 1910. There were nine 
children in their family: Amos, who died in 1882 and is buried in Salem ceme- 
tery; Jordon, of Blue Mound township; Maria, now Mrs. Chapman; Ruth, the 



338 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

wife of D. D. Chapman of Blue Mound township; Minnie, the wife of Charles 
Hagy, of Blue Mound township ; Arthur, of Decatur ; and Alvin and two others 
deceased. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Chapman five children have been born : Maggie Irene, who 
was born November 26, 1882, and is now living at home; William E., born 
March 1, 1885, also living at home; Bessie A., born February 22, 1887, who be- 
came the wife of David Albers, of Blue Mound township, and is the mother of 
two children, Margaret and Helen; Edna E., who was born August 12, 1892, 
and is living at home ; and Katie, born October 25, 1895, also at home. 

Mr. Chapman is identified with the Masonic order and has advanced through 
the Royal Arch degree. He is not connected with any religious organization but 
his wife is a valued member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He sup- 
ports the principles and candidates of the democratic party and, although he has 
not sought official preferment, he served with great acceptance for eighteen 
years as member of the school board. Mrs. Chapman had an uncle, James Stith, 
in the Civil war, who enlisted from Illinois and died in the army. Mr. Chapman 
began as a poor boy and by diligence and economy gained a start, making it 
possible for him to attain the present honorable position he occupies in Macon 
county. He has a remarkable memory and remembers that the first bushel of 
corn he planted for himself he purchased of Rev. N. M. Baker of Decatur in 
1870. paying at the rate of one dollar per bushel for it. The same year he paid 
seventy-three cents a bushel for corn to feed his horses. He now lives in com- 
fort, surrounded by every convenience that is to be desired and in possession of 
ample means for the remaining years of his life. Such are the results of well 
directed industry. 



JAMES ISRAEL LEBO. 

South Macon township is the home of a number of capable and enterprising 
men, who have been instrumental in advancing the interests of the township and 
enhancing its prosperity. Among the number is James I. Lebo, who owns a 
fine farm of one hundred and twenty acres, which has through his industry 
and good management been brought to a high state of cultivation. He was 
born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, January 1, 1866, and is a son of Jacob and 
Isabel (Ash) Lebo. The father was the seventh child in a family of nine 
children and was born in Pennsylvania, coming to Illinois about 1868. He 
settled in Harristown township, this county, and was engaged in agricultural 
operations until 1904, when he retired. A republican in politics, he held the 
office of supervisor of Harristown township one term and for a number of 
years acted as school director of his district. The mother, a native of Indiana, 
was born July 5, 1841, and was married March 1, 1864. She had three children: 
James Israel, the subject of this review; Nellie, who was born February 12, 
1877, and died in August of the same year; and Alice, who was born March 
17, 1878, and married Luther Miller, of Macon county, now living in Harris- 
town township and is. the mother of six children. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 339 

James Israel Lebo was educated in the public schools and was reared upon 
the home farm, where he continued until his marriage, when he purchased the 
place on which he has since lived. Here he has engaged in general farming 
and stock-raising and his application has been rewarded by the returns that 
usually follow well directed labor. 

In 1889 Mr. Lebo was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Ida Keagy, 
a daughter of Stamen and Emily (Glasgow) Keagy, natives respectively of 
Pennsylvania and Illinois. They were the parents of five children: Ophrah, 
living at home; Orpha, who died in childhood; Dama, at home; Ida, who was 
born April 22, 1866, and is now Mrs. Lebo; and Ira, who married Mary Johnston, 
of Macon county, and is living at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Lebo 
have one child, Chester O., born July 23, 1891. 

Mr. Lebo is socially identified with South Macon Lodge, No. 467, A. F. & 
A. M., and Beacon Lodge, No. 434, K. P. He and his wife also hold member- 
ship in Lodge No. 344, Order of the Eastern Star. He has been for a number 
of years an active working member of the republican party and was elected 
county treasurer in the fall of 1910. He has held several offices of responsibil- 
ity, serving as supervisor of his township for two terms and acting as chairman 
of the board during the last year. He was collector of the township one term 
and has been a member of the school board for fourteen years. He is an 
earnest believer in holy writ and is a member of the Christian church. He is 
known as a sincere, straight- forward man, whose word is inviolate and who 
never forgets a kindly act or deserts a friend. 



FRED KIPP. 



Fred Kipp is well known in commercial circles in Decatur and his standing 
among business men is indicated by the fact that he has been honored with the 
presidency of the Decatur Grocers Association, which position he is filling at 
this writing, in 1910. He was born in the town of Bunde, near Bielefeld, West- 
phalia, Germany, May 18, 1862, a son of August and Elizabeth (Hoecke) Kipp. 
The father, who was a horseshoer and wagon manufacturer, died in the year 
1878 at the age of fifty-two years, while his wife, long surviving him, passed 
away in 1895 when sixty-seven years of age. He was a successful business 
man and the business which he established is still conducted by his sons in 
Germany. 

Fred Kipp, who was the youngest of the family, was a pupil in the public 
and high schools of his native country, and after putting aside his text-books 
entered business circles as clerk in a grocery store, thus receiving his prelim- 
inary training alone mercantile lines. The favorable reports which he heard 
concerning America and its business opportunities led him to seek a home in 
the new world, and in 1881 he became a resident of Cincinnati, where he 
remained for one year. In 1882 he arrived in Decatur, where he secured 
employment in a grocery store, acting as clerk until 1886, when the capital which 
he had saved from his earnings enabled him to embark in business on his own 



340 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

account with Mr. Moran as a partner. This relation was discontinued after 
eight years, Mr. Kipp purchasing his partner's interest. Later he formed a 
partnership with George W. Hamer, but since 1906 has carried on business 
alone. He has always been located in the 600 block on East Eldorado street, 
where he carries a complete line of staple and fancy groceries, vegetables, etc., 
catering to the best trade of the city. He has been liberally patronized from 
the beginning and now has an extensive business that makes his enterprise one 
of the profitable concerns of the city. 

On the 20th of March, 1888, Mr. Kipp was united in marriage to Miss 
Minnie Meyer, of Decatur, a daughter of Fred and Minnie Meyer, who were 
early settlers and well known residents of this city but were natives of Han- 
over, Germany. They came across the ocean in a sailing ship which was nine 
or ten weeks in making the trip. The father died in 1890 at the age of sixty- 
five years, and the mother still makes her home in Decatur at the age of eighty- 
four years. 

Mr. Kipp has been active and prominent in public interests of the community 
aside from business. For ten years he served as a member of the board of 
supervisors from Decatur township, and since becoming a naturalized American 
citizen has always given his support to the republican party. He belongs to St. 
Paul's Evangelical Lutheran church and does all in his power to promote its 
growth and extend its influence. As president of the Decatur Retail Grocers 
Association he is putting forth earnest effort to promote trade interests. His 
own prosperity is indicated by the fact that he has become the owner of con- 
siderable real estate in the city. He has never had occasion to regret his deter- 
mination to seek a home in America for here he has found the opportunities 
which he sought and in their improvement has worked his way steadily upward 
to success. 



HENRY OWEN ACOM. 

Henry Owen Acorn is a retired farmer living on section 4, Niantic town- 
ship, where his father located in 185 1 and obtained six hundred and eighty 
acres of land, a part of which he secured through a Mexican land warrant that 
called for one hundred and sixty acres. He also entered a portion of his farm 
from the government. The father, Thomas Acorn, was born in Yorkshire, Eng- 
land, on the 1st of November, 1819, and was a son of Thomas and Elizabeth 
(Raines) Acorn. His youthful days were spent upon a farm in his native 
country and there he acquired a fair common school education, after which he 
learned and followed the carpenter's trade. In 1840, however, he determined 
to try his fortune on the west side of the Atlantic and came to the new world, 
making his way to St. Louis, where he had a brother living. There he secured 
employment at the carpenter's trade and he and his brother were engaged for 
a time to have charge of the stage stables which sent the stage coaches into 
Illinois. Thus he made his start in life, giving proof of his industry and ability 
and therefore gradually working his way upward. 




THOMAS ACOM 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 843 

On the 31st of March, 1844, Thomas Acom was married in Morgan county, 
Illinois, where he had been residing for a year, to Miss Juliana Munson, who 
was a native of Emmitsburg, Maryland, and was a daughter of Samuel and 
Elizabeth (McDonald) Munson. Mrs. Acom had removed to Morgan county, 
Illinois, when she was a young lady of about twenty years, making her way to 
her brother's home in 1838. After a year or more spent in Morgan county 
following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Acom removed to Sangamon county, 
Illinois, where he rented land, and during the period of their residence there 
three children were born. In March, 1850, the family arrived in Macon county 
and in 185 1 took up their abode on what has since been known as the homestead 
farm. It was there that Thomas Acom spent his remaining days, diligently de- 
voting his time and attention to general agricultural pursuits and at the same 
time faithfully performing every duty of citizenship that devolved upon him. 
He was ever mindful of his obligations toward his fellowmen and to the com- 
munity at large and no trust reposed in him was ever betrayed in the slightest 
degree. In politics he was an earnest republican and for many years served as 
supervisor of Niantic township, discharging his duties with promptness and 
fidelity. The cause of education found in him a warm friend and he aceptably 
filled the office of school director for many years. He was always foremost in 
all good things for the benefit of the community and was a strong temperance 
man. On one ocasion he and a friend bought out a saloon and then poured the 
whiskey in the ditch that no one might be the victim of its power of inebriation. 
He had the moral courage of his convictions in every respect and stood fear- 
lessly in support of what he believed to be right. He was reared in the faith 
of the Church of England and while he was never identified through member- 
ship with any church here, he assisted efficiently in raising money to pay off 
the indebtedness of the Methodist Episcopal church in Niantic. He believed in 
progress along agricultural as well as other lines, was an active member of the 
Grange and of the Farmers Club and was the first man to tile land in Niantic 
township. 

The death of Thomas Acom occurred on the 20th of September, 1899, about 
eighteen months after the demise of his wife, who passed away March 28, 1898. 

In the family of this worthy couple were eight children. Sarah Elizabeth, 
who was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, is still living. Sophia became the 
wife of Silas Grosh and for a time they made their home in Macon county but 
afterward removed to Chicago. At her death Mrs. Grosh left three children: 
Mary Laura, John Thomas and Frank Milton. The last named is married and 
has one child, Frances, living in Chicago. Henry Acom married Belle Harns- 
barger. John W., born in this county, wedded Miss Mary J. Coble and lives in 
Moultrie county, Illinois. He has four children : Thomas Herman, Owen Huber, 
William Henry and Hazel Mildred. Martha Jane Acom became the wife of George 
Jacobson and died leaving one child who passed away soon afterward. Mary 
Ellen is the wife of Charles Bruce, living in Niantic. Robert Allen died at the 
age of six years. Laura A. died at the age of nineteen months. The only 
members of the family now living are Sarah Elizabeth, John W., Henry Owen 
Acom and Mrs. Bruce. To the son Henry O., we are indebted for the history 



344 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

of the family. He is following in his father's business footsteps and is now a 
representative and progressive agriculturist of the community, owning and con- 
ducting an extensive and valuable tract of land which readily responds to the 
care and labor which he bestowes upon it. 



LEWIS BRUCE. 



Lewis Bruce, deceased, who had by thrift and energy established himself on 
a farm in section 19, Harristown township, was born in the city of Kiel, Schles- 
wig, Germany, May 15, 1845. He was educated in the public schools of his 
native city but was early put to work and learned the miller's trade, living at 
home and assisting in the support of the family, as his father had died. His 
mother had a sister in America, the wife of George Vree, who was living in 
this county, and as the family was having a hard contest to keep the wolf from 
the door, Mr. Vree kindly supplied the money with which the mother and 
children were able to meet the expense of the journey to Macon county. The 
subject of this review was then twenty-seven years of age and after working 
for wages until he became acquainted with the customs and manners of the new 
world, he began renting land in connection with his brother, their mother keep- 
ing house for them. He prospered and in 1880 bought one hundred and seventy- 
two acres of land in Harristown township, for which he paid forty-eight or 
fifty dollars per acre. He also acquired twenty acres of timber land and, enter- 
ing upon his labors with renewed vigor, he became quite successful. He was a 
very industrious man and, being endowed with unusual energy and strong 
determination, he soon became recognized as one of the most progressive 
and in that church the son was baptized and confirmed. He is in sympathy with 
farmers in the township. 

On March 5, 1884, Mr. Bruce was united in marriage to Miss Anna Jensen, 
who was born in Schleswig, May 29, 1850, a daughter of H. and Dora (Jacob- 
son) Jensen. She had been acquainted with Mr. Bruce in the fatherland 
previous to his departure for America and at his solicitation she came upon the 
long journey of many thousand miles and joined him in Niantic, where the 
marriage ceremony took place soon after her arrival. The beloved husband was 
called from earthly scenes March 27, 1889, and his death in the height of his use- 
fulness was deeply deplored by the entire neighborhood, as he was greatly re- 
spected on account of his many worthy qualities. There was one son, Burchard 
Jensen, born December 29, 1886, and three months after the death of her husband 
Mrs. Bruce returned to her old home in Germany, where her son was educated. 
He graduated from the high school in 1903 and in the summer following returned 
with his mother to America, coming to this county. In 1908 a new and com- 
modious residence was erected and in 1910 the son built a new barn from timber 
which was cut on the land which his father bought many years before. 

Both Mr. Bruce and his wife were reared in the German Lutheran faith 
and in that church the son was baptized and confirmed . He is in sympathy with 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 345 

the principles of the republican party and cast his first presidential ballot for 
Mr. Taft in 1908. Socially he is connected with the Modern Woodmen of 
America and the esteem in which he is held by his brethren is evidenced by the 
fact that he is at present worthy adviser of the lodge. Mrs. Bruce is a woman 
of fine instincts, possessing many of the noblest characteristics of the Teutonic 
race, is steadfast, patient and true in anything she undertakes, a self-sacrificing 
mother to her son and a generous given to any cause that aims to assist those 
less fortunate in wordly possessions than herself. 



HENRY SHLAUDEMAN. 

Various business enterprises have profited by the intelligently directed 
effort, keen insight and careful management of Henry Shlaudeman, who is 
numbered among the most prominent of the sons of Germany who have made 
Decatur their home. He was born in the town of Wildehausen in the province 
of Oldenburg on the 13th of January, 1834, a son of John and Elizabeth 
Shlaudeman, who remained residents of the fatherland until 1846 and then sailed 
for the United States with their family to enjoy the broader opportunities of 
the new world. They established their home in Cincinnati and Henry Shlaude- 
man, who at that time was a youth of twelve summers, learned the trade of a 
tinner and coppersmith. He served an apprenticeship of six months in Cin- 
cinnati and three years and six months in Hamilton, Ohio, and subsequently 
devoted two years to the trade as a journeyman in Logansport, Indiana. All 
through this period he was actuated by a desire to one day engage in business 
on his own acount and to this end carefully saved his earnings until his economi- 
cal expenditure and industry had made him the possessor of a capital sufficient 
to enable him to engage in the tobacco business for himself in Logansport. He 
afterwards worked at his trade, however, in Terre Haute, Indiana, for one 
year. 

Following his arrival in Decatur in 1858, Mr. Shlaudeman became a member 
of the firm of Joseph Michl & Company, engaged in the cigar and tobacco trade, 
being associated with that house for four years. In 1862 he became half owner 
of a brewing business that had been established in 1855 by John Koeler and 
Adam Keck, his partner being Edward Harpstrite and the firm style of Harps- 
trite & Shlaudeman was assumed. After the first year Mr. Shlaudeman 
devoted his time to the manufacturing interests of the business, the essen- 
tial details of which he speedily mastered. This partnership was con- 
tinued until Mr. Harpstrite retired on the 1st of October, 1884. He also 
extended the scope of the enterprise by establishing a bottling department in 
1878. During his early life as a brewer he devised and constructed a beer 
cooler very similar to the Baudelot, now in common use; later a hot air pitching 
machine; and finally took out patents on a safety valve for bunging chip casks, 
which devise was in use for many years. This patent is now the property of 
the Rochester Bunging Apparatus Company. Four years after the retirement 
of Mr. Harpstrite, Mr. Shlaudeman reorganized the business as a corporation 



346 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

under the name of the Decatur Brewing Company, of which he became presi- 
dent, while his two sons, Frank and Harry, entered the company as officials, 
the former as vice president and the latter as secretary and treasurer. In that 
year the Pfaudler vacuum system was introduced and in 1899 the first fermen- 
tation modification of the system was added. In the winter of 1881-2 the first 
refrigerating machine in the brewery was installed. It proved a failure but a 
sucessful Boyle machine was put in during the following winter and in 1894 a 
twenty ton Westinghouse machine was added to the refrigerating plant and a 
fifty ton De La Vergne machine in the spring of 1907. The brewery has been 
thus from time to time equipped with the latest improved appliances, the pro- 
gressive spirit of father and sons being manifest in the continual changes and 
improvements that have been made. Henry Shlaudeman continued as president 
of the company until January, 1903, when he retired and was succeeded by his 
son, Frank Shlaudeman, who is now at the head of the concern. 

While remaining actively in business Henry Shlaudeman was identified with 
various other interests beside the manufacture of beer. In 1889 he erected an 
ice factory, which afterwards was absorbed by the Decatur Brewing Company 
and in 1906 became the property of the Decatur Ice Company, of which Frank 
Shlaudeman is now the president. Henry Shlaudeman became financially and 
officially connected with other concerns, holding a large amount of stock in the 
Decatur Coal Company, the Niantic Coal Company, the Hatfield Milling Com- 
pany, the Decatur Gas & Electric Company, the Citizens Electric Railway Com- 
pany, the National Bank of Decatur and the Citizens National Bank. Of all 
of these he has served or is serving as a director. 

He was elected in 1882 to represent his ward in the city council, serving as 
chairman of the finance committee. During the same year he was appointed by 
the mayor to serve on the library board and reappointed to this same position 
in 1885, serving six years altogether. In 1898 he became one of the heavy 
stockholders of the Citizens National Bank and for one year was its president 
but resigned the office in the winter of 1900 on account of ill health. He has 
since passed the winter months in California, purchasing a home in Pasadena, 
while the summer months are usually spent in Decatur. He regards this as 
the real place of his residence because of his long association here and the fact 
that the great majority of Decatur's citizens are numbered among his friends. 



ALVA CURTIS FOSTER, M. D. 

Dr. Alva Curtis Foster, a successful medical practitioner of Decatur, was 
so named in honor of Dr. Alva Curtis, of the Philadelphia Medical College, of 
which Robert Foster, father of Dr. A. C. Foster, was a graduate physician. 
Robert Foster not only devoted his life to the practice of medicine but was also 
one of the early ministers of the Christian church. A native of Kentucky, he 
was born in 1812 and died in 1875 at the age of sixty-three years. His wife, 
who bore the maiden name of Mary A. Burnett, was born in Spencer county, 
Kentucky, and died in Niantic, Macon county, Illinois, in March, 1900, at the 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 347 

age of seventy-six years. For about thirty years Dr. Foster devoted his time 
and energies to relieving the sick and to preaching the truths of the gospel. He 
was a physician of the old school and his work was an effective element in the 
restoration of health according to the methods then in vogue. He also became 
a preacher of the Christian church in Decatur in the early days when this city 
was a small town. He was also well known in Macoupin county, Illinois, 
especially in the town of Carlinville, where he ministered to the physical as well 
as the spiritual needs of the people. One of his warm friends of that period 
was the young attorney, John M. Palmer, who subsequently became governor 
of Illinois. These two were associated in the organization of the first Masonic 
lodge in Macoupin county, Dr. Robert Foster being a well known and exemplary 
representative of the Masonic fraternity. He was practicing medicine in Carlin- 
ville at the time of the birth of his son, Dr. Alva Curtis Foster, on the 27th of 
August, 1847. The latter was the only living son in a family of four children. 
From early youth he lived upon a farm in Hancock county, Illinois, his 
education being largely acquired in the rural schools, while later he was for one 
year a student in the high school at Virden, Illinois, in his native county. Sub- 
sequently he attended the University of Kentucky where he pursued his more 
specifically literary education from 1869 until 1873. He then engaged in teach- 
ing school for three years, after which he devoted his life to preaching until 
1882, when he gave up the active work of the ministry and became a student 
in the Physicians and Surgeons College at St. Louis. He located for practice in 
Niantic, Macon county, where he remained for four years, and then removed to 
Blue Mound, where he continued as an active representative of his profession 
for fourteen years. For over two years he remained at Columbia, Missouri, in 
practice, removing to that city in order to give his son the educational advantages 
that could be there secured, and on the expiration of that period he returned 
to central Illinois and settled in Decatur, where since December, 1902, he has 
been actively engaged in practice, firmly establishing himself in the public regard 
as an able, capable physician of wide personal knowledge and marked skill. He 
belongs to the Decatur Medical Society. Not only has Dr. Foster ministered 
to the needs of the body but also to the spiritual life as well. For many years 
he has engaged in preaching, although not accepting regular pastorates. He has 
officiated at many funerals and now does supernumerary work. His efforts 
have been untiring for the moral development of the localities in which he has 
lived and his own life has been an inspiration to others. 

On the 7th of March, 1878, in Concord, Illinois, Dr. Foster was married to 
Miss Anna Harris, a daughter of Dr. John and Elizabeth (Browning) Harris. 
Her father also was a pioneer preacher of the Christian church as well as a 
practitioner of medicine for over forty years. Mrs. Foster was born in Wash- 
ington county, Indiana, August 16, 1857, and her life history closed in Decatur 
on the 22d of March, 1910. She was a devout Christian woman and a zealous 
worker in the Central Church of Christ. She took a most helpful part in the 
missionary work of the church and in other fields of religious activity and her 
life was filled with the countless little ministries that make the world better, 
brighter and happier. She found her greatest joy in aiding others and in 
devoting her life to her husband and children. Her influence can never die 



34d HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

while upon other lives is left the impress of her noble soul. Unto Dr. and Mrs. 
Foster were born four children: Guy Kennith; Mrs. Ina Harris Lee, of 
Minneapolis; Olive; and Edythe. The son, now thirty-one years of age, was 
for three years a student in Eureka (111.) College and for one year in Butler 
College of Indiana, after which he entered Missouri University at Columbia, 
Missouri, and was there graduated with the class of 1902 with the degrees of 
A. B. and B. P. E. He afterward engaged in teaching in the high school of 
Trenton, Missouri, for four years, and is now professor of chemistry in the 
State University of Colorado. He was married in Trenton, August 5, 1904, to 
Miss Mary Campbell, and they have one daughter, Dorothy. 

Dr. Foster owns a nice residence at No. 961 North Union street. The house 
in which he was born stood on the present site of the million dollar courthouse 
of Carlinville, Illinois, the south steps of the building occupying the spot where 
once stood the old homestead. Dr. Foster's aim in life has been to give all of 
his children a good education and fitly prepare them for life's responsibilities 
and obligations. Reared in a Christian home, they are a credit to their parents. 
Dr. Foster has ever realized, as Abraham Lincoln has expressed it, that "There 
is something better than making a living — making a life." He has therefore 
endeavored to fill his years with good deeds and honorable purposes, and 
because of his ministry to the sick in body and in soul, and because of his 
ability to point out in each case the path of restoration and benefit, his life has 
indeed been of worth and value to his fellowmen. 



DANIEL W. MOORE. 



For forty years a resident of Macon county, Daniel W. Moore has wit- 
nessed many changes in his adopted county and has assisted in forwarding many 
improvements which were only dimly outlined when he first came to this region. 
Living now on a beautiful farm in section 36, Niantic township, the head of a 
promising family, he is known as one of the most prosperous citizens in the 
county. He was born on a farm in County Antrim, Ireland, March 17, 1849, 
and is a son of Robert and Mary (Murphy) Moore. The father came to America 
with his family about 1864, making the trip across the ocean in five weeks in 
a sailing vessel and landing at New York city. Several relatives had preceded 
him and were located in Montgomery county, Illinois. Accordingly, he came 
to that county, where he continued upon a farm for several years. In 1869 he 
and his sons selected a home in Niantic township, Macon county, and removed 
to that location the year following, having purchased three hundred and twenty 
acres of land at eighteen dollars an acre. This was wild prairie land, which 
required a great deal of labor before it was brought to a fair state of cultiva- 
tion. Here the homestead was established and the father continued until his 
death, which occurred in 1887. The beloved mother is still living at Niantic at 
the advanced age of ninety years. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Moore, six sons and three daughters: Robert, of Niantic; Thomas, of Hol- 
drege, Nebraska ; Jane who married Samuel Erwin and is now deceased ; Daniel 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 349 

W., our subject; Mary, deceased; William, Alexander and Hugh, all of Niantic; 
and Ellen, who married Francis Campbell and is now living at Niantic. 

The subject of this review was about fifteen years of age when he came to 
America, the events of the journey making an impression upon his mind which 
has never been forgotten. He was educated in the common schools and assisted 
in the work upon the farm, he and his five brothers remaining together and also 
purchasing land together, until they became the most prominent landholders in 
this part of the country. One of the farms which they acquired is now one-half 
mile wide and two miles long, another contains two hundred and forty acres 
and the farm which is owned by our subject consists of four hundred and 
thirty acres. The place upon which he began independently comprised one 
hundred acres but in 1887 he purchased the home in which he now lives. He 
has made many improvements, has thoroughly modernized every department 
under his charge and today is recognized as one of the foremost farmers in 
central Illinois. 

On January 10, 1883, Mr. Moore was happily united in marriage, in Perry 
county, Illinois, to Miss Sarah Cupples, a native of Fairfield county, Ohio, and 
a daughter of William and Eliza (Stuart) Cupples. Seven children have 
brightened their home: Elizabeth, Robert, William, D. Leonard, Ray, Mary 
and Walter. Elizabeth has a fine education and is living at home. 

Mr. Moore cast his first vote for General U. S. Grant as president of the 
United States in 1872 and has never departed from his allegiance to the republi- 
can party. Although he has not sought political preferment he has served as 
assessor of the township and has been a member of the school board for thirty 
years continuously. He was reared in the Presbyterian faith but has never held 
membership in any church, although he has acted as trustee of the Methodist 
Episcopal church at Niantic ever since it was organized. His wife and several 
of his children are members of that denomination. Fraternally he is identified 
with Harristown Lodge, No. 431, A. F. & A. M., and has served as its junior 
warden. He is also connected with the Knights of Pythias at Niantic. He is a 
man of genial, social qualities and is never so happy as when in his home circle 
or when dispensing generous hospitality to his friends. The blessings he enjoys 
are very largely the results of his perseverance and untiring industry — traits 
inherited from worthy parents and a stanch ancestry. 



CHARLES MONROE CARR. 

Charles Monroe Carr, who resides on a beautiful farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres in section 34, South Macon township, and is recognized as one of 
the progressive young citizens of the county, was born in Missouri, April 18, 
1878. He is a son of George W. and Nancy (Gibson) Carr, the former of whom 
was born in Ohio in 1841 and the latter in Missouri in 1847. The father has 
devoted his attention to farming ever since arriving at manhood except during 
the Civil war, when he worked in the United States government shops in Mis- 
souri. He and his wife are still living. There were ten children in their family, 
the subject of this review being sixth in order of birth. 



350 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Charles M. Carr was educated in the common schools and assisted his father 
upon the home farm until arriving at twenty-one years of age, after which he 
began working for wages. About 1900 he came to Illinois and at twenty-eight 
years of age he took unto himself a wife, soon afterwards moving to Missouri, 
where he continued for one year. In 1907 he returned to Illinois and is now 
managing a farm which belongs to his father-in-law, to which he has devoted 
a great deal of labor, bringing it to a high state of cultivation. 

In December, 1906, Mr. Carr was happily united in marriage to Miss Ella 
Kraschel, who was born March 1, 1878, and is a daughter of Frederick and 
Nancy Jane (Poe) Kraschel, a record of whom appears elsewhere in this work. 
Mr. Carr affiliates with Beacon Lodge No. 434, Knights of Pythias, at Macon, 
Illinois, and is an adherent of the republican party. He is energetic and capable 
in the calling he has chosen as his life work and as a patriotic citizen and use- 
ful member of the community has a high standing among his fellows. Recog- 
nizing the opportunities presented in agriculture and stock-raising, he has earn- 
estly applied his abilities, and the neat appearance of the farm and the ample 
harvests yielded each year give practical evidence of his skill. He and his 
estimable wife have many friends in Macon county, who are attracted by their 
worthy qualities. 



THOMAS E. O'BRIEN. 

An analyzation of the life work of Thomas E. O'Brien indicates the fact 
that thoroughness is perhaps his predominant characteristic. It is manifest in 
the minor as well as the more important duties which have come to him. He 
displays, moreover, a genius for organization that has continued him in the 
position of sales manager with the Leader Iron Works from the inception of 
the business and secured his election to the position of vice president, in both 
of which offices he is still the incumbent. 

He was born in the town of Tiskilwa, Bureau county, Illinois, August 26, 
1879, his parents being Timothy F. and Margaret (Canty) O'Brien, the former 
a native of Providence, Rhode Island, and the latter of Bristol, England, 
although both were of Irish lineage. The mother was brought to this coun- 
try by her parents when two or three years of age, the Canty home being estab- 
lished in Bureau county, Illinois. In his boyhood days Timothy F. O'Brien went 
to Bureau county with his parents and there both the father and mother of our 
subject were reared and after reaching adult age were married. They have 
since resided in that county, the father devoting his entire life to farming, in 
which business he is still actively engaged, his home being about four miles 
from Tiskilwa. His political allegiance has always been given to the demo- 
cratic party but without desire for or hope of office as a reward for his fealty. 

The usual experiences and environment of farm life developed in Thomas 
E. O'Brien a sturdy boyhood and his intellectual training was received in the 
public schools of his native county, supplemented by a course in a business col- 




THOMAS E. OT.IIHA 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 353 

lege at Kewanee, Illinois. Through vacation periods he assisted his father and 
remained upon the home farm until his nineteenth year, at which time he went 
to Kewanee, Illinois, then quite noted as a manufacturing center. He sought 
and secured employment in the yards of the Western Tube Works, now the 
National Tube Works, where he was employed at loading tubes at a wage of 
seven dollars and eighty cents per week. This was night work. He proved ca- 
pable and faithful, however, and thereby won promotion, being given a position 
in the shops where the boilers were built and repaired. For two years thereafter 
he was engaged on boiler work, learning something of the detail of boiler mak- 
ing. Leaving that position, he entered the employ of the Kewanee Boiler Com- 
pany at a salary of a dollar and seventy-five cents per day. He found in this 
new experience that he had only gained the most rudimentary knowledge of boiler 
making and his real schooling began in his new position. He remained with that 
company for four years and his determination to learn the business thoroughly 
and in every detail caused him to devote much time to study aside from the 
practical experience which he received in the shops. He attended night school 
during a part of his term of service and in this way, on the expiration of his 
four years' employment there, he had become a boilermaker in all that the word 
implies, his proficiency advancing him beyond many who entered the shops 
about the same time. He then went upon the road as a commercial salesman for 
the Kewanee Water Supply Company to market a certain portion of the output 
of the Kewanee Boiler Company. 

His position, however, was on a salary basis and after one year the Leader 
Iron Works of Decatur were organized as a competitive business and Mr. 
O'Brien resigned his position to associate himself with the new organization. 
In this connection he was appointed in charge of the sales department and to 
his ability and enterprise in that capacity much of the success of the firm may 
be attributed. His thorough knowledge of the business in every phase well 
qualified him for the superintendency of the sales department and in his capacity 
as sales manager he has traveled over all North America. He is in fact one of 
the best known men in his line in the country. Two years after connecting 
himself with the Leader Iron Works he was made vice president and has since 
served as the second executive officer. He has, however, continued in complete 
charge of the sales management and the progressive policy which he has insti- 
tuted in this connection constitutes one of the chief sources of the company's suc- 
cess and prosperity. 

On the 23d of February, 1909, Mr. O'Brien was married to Miss Mary E. 
O'Neill, of Kewanee, Illinois, and they have one son, Clement Neil. Mrs. 
O'Brien's parents were Michael and Sarah (Aaron) O'Neill, the former a na- 
tive of Ireland and the latter of Pennsylvania. Coming to the United States in 
1850, the father located in Kewanee, Illinois, where he was engaged in the real- 
estate business for some years. He died in that city in 1890 and his widow still 
resides there. 

Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien are members of the Catholic church and he is con- 
nected with the Knights of Columbus. By his ballot he endeavors to support 
the men best qualified for office regardless of party ties. Thoroughness, the 



354 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

faithful performance of each day's duties, close study concerning business con- 
ditions, keen insight into every situation and courage to improve the opportuni- 
ties offered, have been the salient features in the success of Thomas E. O'Brien, 
a most prominent and honored representative of the industrial interests of 
Decatur. 



CHARLES W. ASHENFELTER. 

Charles W. Ashenfelter, a resident of Decatur for about ten years and now 
well known as a contractor and builder of the city, was born near Fairfield, in 
Wayne county, Illinois, June 12, 1876, a son of John T. and Elizabeth (Mauck) 
Ashenfelter, who were natives of Virginia, whence they drove across the country 
with team and wagon to Wayne county. They left the Old Dominion in the fall 
of 1865 and reached their destination in the spring of 1866, having stopped for 
a few months in Indiana. There the father followed farming until his death 
in December, 1910. The mother died thirty years ago. The Ashenfelter family 
is of German origin and the first representatives of the name settled near Brock 
Gap, Virginia, where the grandfather, John Ashenfelter, and the father, John 
T. Ashenfelter, were both born. 

Charles W. Ashenfelter attended the country schools at intervals until twenty 
years of age but at the age of fourteen years began to learn the carpenter's 
trade, hewing timber from which to make the frame work for a new house. In 
those days the carpenters would go into the woods and pick out suitable timber 
and cut down the trees for whatever purpose they intended them. Mr. Ashen- 
felter worked for his uncle and his grandfather at fifty cents per day and became 
thoroughly familiar with the practical side of the business. In 1892 he removed 
to Lawrence county, Illinois, where he remained for two years but on the expira- 
tion of that period returned to Wayne county, where he remained until 1896. 
He then again went to Lawrence county, where he worked at his trade until 
1901, when he came to Decatur, where he has since made his home. In the 
meantime he had become an expert in carpenter work and immediately after 
his arrival secured employment at Millikin University, being engaged on the 
construction of the university and other public buildings and residences during 
the two years in which he remained in the employ of others. He then embarked 
in the contracting and building business on his own account in connection with 
his brother-in-law, W. A. Garber, and in addition to building they have also 
dealt to some extent in real estate. They are doing speculative building, erect- 
ing residences and then selling them and they have put up some of the most at- 
tractive homes of the city. Mr. Ashenfelter does his own architectural work, 
drawing his plans, and his ability in this direction is seen in the beauty of some 
of the dwellings which he has constructed. 

On the 27th of July, 1899, Mr. Ashenfelter was married to Miss Nina R. 
Garber, of Lawrence county, Illinois, a daughter of S. W. and Katherine S. 
(Hensberger) Garber. Mrs. Ashenfelter was born in Virginia, which was also 
the birth place of her parents, who in the year 1894 removed with their family 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 355 

to Illinois. The father devoted his life to school teaching, preaching and farm- 
ing. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ashenfelter have been born three children, Edna K., 
Mary and James Paul, the last named born December 23, 1909. In his political 
views Mr. Ashenfelter is a republican and is always able to support his position 
by intelligent argument, showing that he keeps well informed on the questions 
and issues of the day but he does not seek nor desire office. His religious faith 
is that of the Church of the Brethren. He has become widely and favorably 
known in business circles and in the relations of social life and sterling traits 
of character as manifest in each connection have gained him warm regard. 



FERDINAND UHLL. 



Ferdinand Uhll, one of the highly respected citizens of Blue Mound, was 
born in Germany, August 18, 1851, and came with his parents, Ferdinand and 
Julia Uhll, to America in 1853. The family settled at Edwardsville, Illinois, 
and the father began working on the railroad but passed away a few months 
after his arrival at his new home. Of five children in the family, two are now 
living: Anna, the wife of Christian Hertel, of Kansas; and Ferdinand. The 
mother was a second time married, in 1855, becoming the wife of Joseph Her- 
man, and by that union three children were born, two of whom are now living: 
Charles and Antone, both of Christian county, Illinois. The mother departed 
this life in 1872. 

The subject of this review was educated in the public schools of Greene 
county, Illinois, and remained with his stepfather until eighteen years of age, 
when he began working by the month for farmers in the neighborhood. In 1878 
he commenced farming on his own account and after his marriage he purchased 
eighty acres of land in Christian county, to which he added from time to time 
until he now owns a highly developed farm of two hundred and eighty-four 
acres. As a general farmer and stock-raiser he continued for thirty years, remov- 
ing on February 15, 1910, to Blue Mound. He is the owner of two threshing 
machines and has an interest in a third and is recognized as a man of good 
business ability, who generally succeeds in anything he undertakes. 

In 1881 Mr. Uhll was united in marriage to Miss Agnes Pierson, who was 
born in Macon county, in 1862, and is a daughter of William and Caroline 
(Hollingsworth) Pierson. Her mother was born September 14, 1834, and died 
August 22, 1900, being buried in Christian county. Her father is a native of 
Ohio, born September 11, 1831, and is now living in Christian county, Illinois. 
Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Pierson, the following are now living: 
Mary, of Christian county; James, of Kansas; Agnes, now Mrs. Uhll; Clara, 
of Shelby county, Illinois; Ollie, of Oklahoma; Bruce, of Christian county; 
William, also of Christian county. 

Nine children came to bless the home of Mr. and Mrs. Uhll: Carrie, born 
May 15, 1882, who is now the wife of Benjamin Amber, of Christian county, 
and the mother of one child, Cressie; Annie, born April 12, 1884, who is the 
wife of Charles Brown, of Christian county, and the mother of three children, 



356 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

John Everett, Eloise and Kenneth; Marcus, of Christian county, born May i, 
1886, who married Belle Cormaney and has become the father of one child, 
Delmar ; James Benjamin, of Christian county, born August 26, 1888, who married 
Josie Young; Robert, born June 28, 1893; now living with his brother Marcus; 
Ferdinand, born October 29, 1895; Eva Grace, born March 8, 1899, and living 
at home; and Curtis, born January 14, 1904, and also at home. Warren, who 
was born October 12, 1890, was accidentally shot when eleven years old. He was 
one of the brightest and most promising members of the family and his death 
was the greatest sorrow that our subject and his wife have ever been called upon 
to endure. Six years ago Mr. Uhll suffered the loss of his right hand in a pain- 
ful accident while operating a machine. He has borne the affliction manfully, 
accepting it as one of those occurrences which are liable to happen to any man 
in the active pursuit of his daily vocation. 

On the 4th of August, 1906, Mr. and Mrs. Uhll celebrated their silver 
wedding, about one hundred guests being invited to an elegant dinner prepared 
by Mrs. Uhll and her daughters, and they received several silver presents, both 
useful and valuable, which they highly prize as gifts from dear friends. 

They occupy one of the most attractive residences of Blue Mound. The house 
contains eleven rooms and was built by a banker who failed. Hence it was 
placed on the market. It is beautifully furnished, modern in every respect and 
would be considered an elegant residence in any city. Mr. Uhll is an advocate 
of the principles of the republican party and socially holds membership in the 
Modern Woodmen of America. His wife is a valued member of the Christian 
church and he has found in her a most capable and helpful assistant in all the 
years of their journey together — one who has been to him a constant encourage- 
ment and support. As a result of their early self-denial and many years of well 
directed energy they now enjoy the blessings of home and the friendship of 
the people of the entire community, for it is only by making ourselves worthy 
of confidence that we can hope to gain the confidence of our neighbors. 



C. S. LEWIS. 



Fifty-two years ago C. S. Lewis, then a young man of twenty-four, arrived 
in Macon county. He came from the east and here he decided to make his 
home. He has seen no reason to regret his choice, as he became one of the 
successful men of Macon county and is now living retired in the enjoyment of 
ease and plenty. He was born at Perth Amboy, Middlesex county, New Jersey, 
December 22, 1834, and is a son of Jacob and Margaret Ann (Wait) Lewis, 
also natives of New Jersey. The subject of this review is the only survivor of 
the family. His sister, Margaret A. Lewis, married Moses Martin and died on 
Staten Island in 1902. He remembers seeing his father only three times, for 
the father, who was one of the gold hunters of 1849, died when the son was 
quite young. He was sixteen years of age when his mother was called from 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 357 

earthly scenes, so that he was early thrown upon his own resources and learned 
to depend upon his own judgment. 

For two years Mr. Lewis assisted an uncle in a bakery and then became 
apprenticed to the carpenter's trade, working for three months and three days 
at ten cents a day and board. On his twenty-first birthday he worked until noon 
and then notified his employer that he was his own master. However, the latter 
offered him full journeyman's wages if he would continue and he remained in 
that employ until he had earned enough money to purchase a good set of tools. 
Beginning as a contractor, he was proceeding steadily on the road toward finan- 
cial independence when, in 1858, he came to the conclusion that his fortune lay 
westward and he left New Jersey, his first stopping place being Springfield, 
Illinois, where he worked for the socialist colony, and while there enjoyed the 
pleasure of the acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln. In March, 1858, he came to 
Decatur and in Macon county established his permanent home. Until forty 
years of age he engaged in construction work and was the builder of many 
homes now standing in this county. About 1874 he embarked in the lumber 
business at Blue Mound and was also largely interested in lands and farming 
for twenty-five years, becoming one of the extensive landowners of Macon 
county. During recent years he has disposed of most of his property but 
retains forty acres in the county and, desiring that his children shall enjoy the 
advantages of his labors while he is still living, he has given to each of them a 
liberal allotment of land. 

On September 2, 1861, Mr. Lewis was united in marriage to Miss Nancy E. 
Clemens, who was born in Indiana, November 19, 1841, and came with her 
parents, Lewis and Sarah J. (Henderson) Clemens, to this state at six years of 
age. She departed this life January 12, 1905, and was buried in Hall cemetery, 
two miles north of Blue Mound. To the parents of Mrs. Lewis nine children 
were born, four of whom are living: Philip, a resident of Stonington, Illinois; 
Reuben, of Emporia, Kansas; Mary, the wife of Allen White and Tilatha J., 
the wife of D. A. Hidelbaugh, living in Iowa. 

Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lewis: Margaret Augusta mar- 
ried William Gray and was called away in 1896, leaving three children, Donald 
A., Lelah and Margaret Augusta. Sarah E. is now the widow of Elton Nicholls. 
She lives near Blue Mound and has two children, Luther and Raymond. The 
third in order of birth died in infancy. Charles M., born December 18, 1873, 
was educated at the University of Illinois and married a Miss Wright, of 
Urbana, Illinois, who died in 1898. He now lives in Danville and is one of the 
prosperous architects of the city. 

On January 20, 1909, Mr. Lewis was married a second time, the lady of his 
choice being Mrs. Matilda (Pope) Clemens, who was born near Blue Mound, 
December 18, 1861. Her father, Zachariah Pope, was born in Macon county 
about 1830 and her mother in Virginia. Mr. Pope was a soldier of the Civil 
war and died soon after its close, but his wife is still living in Decatur and on 
September 22, 1910, was sixty-nine years of age. Mrs. Lewis has a brother and 
sister living: Charles, of Decatur, and Zachariah, the wife of J. D. Logan, of 
Decatur. By her first marriage she became the mother of five children: Ethyl 
A., born in Macon county, May 13, 1880, is the wife of Edwin Littlefield, of 



358 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Edwardsville, Illinois, has two children, Helen and Evelyn; Nettie M., who was 
born January 18, 1882, died January 8, 1887, and was buried at Blue Mound, 
Illinois. Raymond B., born June 27, 1884, died July 10, 1905, and was also 
buried at Blue Mound. Charles L., born October 9, 1886, is living with his 
mother. Vesta E., born March 27, 1889, is living in Los Angeles, California, 
and is engaged as clerk in the drug business. Albert Clemens, the first husband 
of Mrs. Lewis, was born in Indiana, March 12, 1856, and died July 14, 1908. 
He was the son of Eben T. and Eliza M. (McLain) Clemens, both of whom were 
born in Indiana, the former in 183 1 and the latter in 1835, and they are now 
living at Blue Mound. 

Mrs. Lewis has been for many years an active member of the Methodist 
church and socially is identified with the Royal Neighbors. Mr. Lewis built 
the home in which he now lives thirty-three years ago and it is one of the 
handsome residents of Blue Mound. Although he has passed the Psalmist's 
allotted age of three score and ten years, he retains his health and has a remark- 
ably clear memory. His reminiscences of earlier years in Illinois are instruc- 
tive and interesting in a high degree and as a conversationalist he has few 
superiors. Among the prized mementos which he holds as invaluable is a letter 
written to him by his mother in 1850. It is beautifully written and expresses in 
touching language the love of the mother for her son, and this letter will be 
handed down as a cherished heirloom in the family. 



JEFFERSON GOODPASTER WILLARD. 

Jefferson Goodpaster Willard, the owner of a valuable farm of seven hun- 
dred and twenty acres in Harristown township, was born in Overton county, 
Tennessee, February 21, 1827, and is now living retired, enjoying in comfort 
and ease with his wife and son the results of many years of labor. He is the 
son of William and Martha (Goodpaster) Willard and on the paternal side is 
of English descent. An early American ancestor, William Willard, was a soldier 
of the Revolutionary war and afterward received a pension. Going to Adams 
county, Illinois, he there passed his declining years. He lived to the great age 
of one hundred and five and preserved his bodily strength to such a remark- 
able degree that he was able to ride fifty miles on horseback in one day when 
he was one hundred years old. 

William Willard, the father of our subject, is supposed to have been born 
in Virginia and early in life he removed with his parents to Tennessee. In the 
year 1829 the family migrated to Morgan county, Illinois, where he took up 
three hundred and twenty acres of land nine miles west of Jacksonville. The 
mother was a native of Virginia and accompanied her parents on their removal 
to Tennessee, when they died, and where she was married. William Willard 
departed this life at the age of forty-seven years, in 1847, an d ms w ^ e died in 
Macon county, November 8, 1861. They were both earnest believers in the 
Christian religion and actively identified with the Methodist Episcopal church, 
of which Mr. Willard served as an officer for a number of years. He was a 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 359 

stanch democrat and took an active part in political affairs, becoming county 
assessor of Morgan county at the time when that official supervised the prop- 
erty assessments of the entire county. In his family were nine children, all 
of whom grew to maturity, but of this number only two are now living : Jeffer- 
son G., the subject of this review; and Jasper, who lives at Mount Zion, this state. 
Jefferson G. Willard was reared upon the home farm in Morgan county 
and began his education in the old log school house which, as he remembers, 
had the usual slab bench for a seat, the greased paper for windows and the 
great fireplace which occupied almost the entire end of the building. The 
schools of those days possessed few of the advantages which are presented so 
freely at the present time but they have the credit of graduating many of the 
noblest men and women that America has known. These men and women 
gained their education in the great school of life, whose teachings are more 
impressive and more lasting than any ever given at the college or university. 
At thirteen years of age the farm boy was called on to mourn the loss of his 
father and it is probable that the responsibility which then devolved upon him 
has been one of the most important elements in shaping and controlling his char- 
acter. From the time of his father's death he assisted his mother in provid- 
ing for the family, continuing until the younger members were able to care 
for themselves. In 1855 Mr. Willard took up his residence upon a half section 
of land which he had purchased in this county and which became a portion of 
the homestead. This land was entirely in its wild state and he has made many 
improvements, building a house eighteen by thirty feet and one and one-half 
stories in height, where the family lived until 1864, when the main building was 
erected to which improvements have been added, making the residence one of 
the handsomest in that part of the county. In 1864 he built a large barn, one 
of the most commodious in the township, and soon after arriving on the land, 
in 1857, he set out a grove of walnut trees planting them from the seed, and 
today they form a highly pleasing feature in the landscape. The farm, which 
embraces seven hundred and twenty acres in one body, has been increased in 
area from time to time, the price paid for the land ranging from twelve to sixty 
dollars an acre. This land is now worth two hundred and fifty dollars an acre. 
In addition to carrying on operations extensively as an agriculturalist Mr. Willard 
has been a noted stock raiser, feeder and shipper and to him belongs the credit 
of shipping the best one hundred head of cattle ever sent out of Macon county 
to the present time. These cattle were sold in Chicago, where one carload were, 
placed on exhibition and attracted the attention of many of the greatest cattle 
men of the country and were afterward all shipped to England. 

On March 28, 1849, Mr. Willard was united in marriage to Miss Aliff C. 
Averitt, who was born in Marshall county, Kentucky, December 25, 1828, a 
daughter of Nathan G. and Mary (Cooper) Averitt. The parents were both 
natives of Tennessee and went with their respective families to Kentucky, 
where they were later married. Mrs. Willard was brought to Morgan county, 
this state, when she was two years of age, and there she grew up and received 
a common-school education. Mr. Averitt settled in Macon county in 1850, 
where he became an extensive landowner, buying a portion of his land at a 
price as low as seventy cents an acre, by making use of Mexican land war- 



360 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

rants. He passed away at seventy years of age, his beloved wife having de- 
parted many years before. One son, James Monroe, now a resident of Decatur, 
has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Willard. He was married about 1887 to a Miss 
Dyke and is the father of three children. His home is at No. 752 West Macon 
street. 

Mr. Willard for many years was allied with the democratic party but later 
became a prohibitionist and has since adhered to that organization. For nine 
years he filled the office of road commissioner and although it required three 
years for him to persuade the other members of the board to endorse his recom- 
mendation, he succeeded in securing stone abutments for the bridges built dur- 
ing the remainder of his term of office. He was among the first citizens of 
the county to advocate a county agricultural association and after it was es- 
tablished he served for three years with marked ability as its president. Reared 
as a Methodist, he continued in that belief for some years but finally became con- 
vinced that the Christian church more closely represented the teachings of the 
Great Master and he has since that time been one of its members. He has 
acted as deacon and later as elder, acomplishing a great deal in making the 
church a power in the neighborhood. While living in Morgan county he be- 
came a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows but since taking 
up his residence in Macon county he has not retained his membership. 

In 1909 the sixtieth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Willard 
was celebrated at the residence of their son in Decatur. Friends gathered from 
far and wide to extend their greetings and the event will be remembered as one 
of the most interesting assemblages of the kind known in the community for 
many years. Mr. Willard owes much of his success to the constant encourage- 
ment and support of his wife who has been indeed to him a loving companion 
and helpmate. Together they have witnessed the great transformation by which 
the wild land was reduced to the uses of man and today they behold happy 
homes and thriving communities where in earlier days their eyes rested upon 
naught but the forest or the naked prairie. Of all this they have been a part 
and faithfully did they contribute of their strength and resources in accomplish- 
ing the marvelous change. It is a pleasure to record in this work the honored 
names of a family that has contributed so greatly toward the upbuilding of 
Macon county, erecting a monument vastly more enduring than any built with the 



NATHAN L. KRONE. 



While Nathan L. Krone has passed the seventy-seventh milestone on life's 
journey he yet remains an active factor in business circles, continuing in the 
drug trade in which he has been so long and honorably engaged. No history of 
Decatur would be complete without his record, for he has lived in the city for 
sixty-one years, and not to know Mr. Krone here is to argue one's self unknown. 
His name stands as a synonym for business enterprise and integrity, for public 
spirit in citizenship and for fidelity in the relations of private life. 

Mr. Krone is a representative of one of the oldest families of Pennsylvania. 
That state was the birthplace of his grandfather, Michael Krone, who after attain- 




NATHAN L. KRONE 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 363 

ing his majority was united in marriage to Miss Franklynberger. Their son 
David Krone was born in Pennsylvania, acquired his education in the public 
schools and afterward served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade, which he 
made his life work. He married Miss Ruth Worley, also a native of Pennsylvania 
and a daughter of Nathan Worley, who was of German lineage, but was born in 
the Keystone state, where he also met and married Miss Popp, a lady of Welsh 
descent. 

David Krone and bride began their domestic life in New York county, Penn- 
sylvania, where they resided until 1839 an d then came to Decatur, where they 
found a small town containing only a few hundred population in the midst of a 
prairie that was but sparsely settled. The Black Hawk war had occurred only 
seven years before, and the settlers of the community told tales of Indian occupancy 
and of other experiences of pioneer life. Mr. Krone began work at the cabinet- 
maker's trade and also turned his attention to the hotel business, becoming pro- 
prietor of the Macon House. He was connected with cabinet-making until his 
death in 1867. His wife survived him for about eighteen years, passing away in 
the spring of 1885. Their children were as follows: Margaret, the wife of 
George W. Bright, of Decatur; Annie, the wife of David S. Shellebarger, long a 
prominent business man of this city; Mrs. Sophia McClurg, of St. Joseph, Mis- 
souri; and Nathan L. 

The last named was born in York county, Pennsylvania, March 14th, 1833, 
and was therefore but six years of age when he accompanied his parents to 
Illinois. Here he entered the public schools and gave his attention to the mastery 
of the branches of learning which constituted the curriculum until he reached the 
age of sixteen years. He then made his initial step in the business world, secur- 
ing a clerkship in a dry-goods store, in which he remained for four years. He was 
afterward with the firm of King & Reed, druggists of Decatur for three years, 
at the end of which time he became connected with Dr. J. E. Roberts, a druggist 
with whom he was associated for seventeen years. Mr. Krone then went to 
Iowa and for a brief period resided in Council Bluffs, but his strong attachment 
for Decatur caused him to return, and he entered the store with which he had so 
long been connected, although in the meantime W. C. Armstrong had become the 
successor of Dr. Roberts as proprietor of that establishment. He was a repre- 
sentative of Mr. Armstrong's interests for sixteen years and then embarked in 
business on his own acount, opening a store at the corner of Calhoun and Herk- 
imer streets in 1893. He has maintained one of the well equipped drug stores of 
the city during the past seventeen years, his stock being tastefully arranged, while 
his honorable business methods and earnest desire to please his patrons have 
brought to him a gratifying trade. 

Mr. Krone has proven his worth as a citizen of Decatur in other ways besides 
his business connections. For nine years he filled the office of city treasurer and 
gave most careful and accurate accounting for the public funds. He stands at all 
times as a loyal advocate of the measures which are deemed essential as factors 
in the growth and upbuilding of the community. 

In 1854 Mr. Krone was married to Miss Jane Frederick, a daughter of Samuel 
and Rachael (Robinson) Frederick. Mrs. Krone was born in Ohio and by her 
marriage has become the mother of one son Charles O., who is his father's asso- 



364 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

date in business. He married Mrs. Ella Dew, of Zanesville, Ohio, in October, 
1894. Mrs. Krone belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and has been a 
faithful and active assistant in its work. Mr. Krone is a prominent Mason, hold- 
ing membership in Macon Lodge, A. F. & A. M. ; Macon Chapter, R. A. M. ; and 
Beaumanoir Commandery, K. T. His political endorsement is given to the re- 
publican party and he has never swerved in his allegiance to its principles. A 
contemporary biographer has written of him : "His manner is genial and entirely 
free from ostentation, without pretense or display. He commands the respect of 
his fellowmen and they regard him as a valued friend. He has added much to 
the brightness of life and has been true and fathful in every relation in which he 
has been placed. Now at the age of seventy-seven years he commands uniform 
confidence and is an honored representative of the trade interests of the city, 
whose development he has witnessed through almost his entire history. His 
residence in Decatur covers more than the Psalmist's allotted span of life of 
three score years and ten. 



JAMES CONNAGHAN. 

James Connaghan, a prosperous farmer whose home is on section 12, Ni- 
antic township, the family residence being just inside the corporate limits of the 
village of Niantic, is a native, of the Emerald isle. He was born on a farm in 
the town of Ballinamore, County Donegal, August 8, 1848, and is a son of 
Charles and Sarah (Gatens) Connaghan. When he was about five years of 
age his parents removed to the village of Maryhill, about three miles from 
Glasgow, Scotland, where the son grew up, receiving only a limited education, 
as he was early put to work in order to assist in the support of the family. 
There were eleven children, of whom he was seventh in order of birth. At 
sixteen he began to learn the molder's trade and about a year later the father 
died. Charles Connaghan had been twice married and by his first union there 
were three children, the oldest of whom came to America and served in the 
Civil war. The family never heard of him again nor has any trace been found 
of the other two children. Of the eleven children by the second marriage seven 
grew to maturity and it is believed that six are now living. 

In the spring of 1867 James Connaghan bade farewell to boyhood scenes 
and went aboard a vessel which was bound for America. After a voyage of 
twenty-one days he arrived in New York and soon joined his brother Charles, 
who was living at Kortright, New York. After a few months the brothers came 
to Macon county, Illinois, where they began work by the month. However, on 
account of the failing health of his brother and upon the advice of a physician 
they returned to Scotland, leaving the port of New York on the day of the 
national election in November, 1868, when General Grant was elected presi- 
dent of the United States. The voyage was made in the steamer City of Cork, 
which was a sister ship to the noted Confederate cruiser Alabama, which created 
such havoc at the time of the Civil war. The brothers spent six months in 
the old country, at the end of which time they again came to the new world, 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 365 

landing at Quebec, and after a few weeks were once more in Macon county, 
where they had decided to make their permanent home. James Connaghan 
worked for some time for J. J. Batchelder, and later the two brothers rented 
land of him for about three years, when they sold their lease and removed to 
Piatt county, Illinois. After an experience of a year there they went to Moul- 
trie county, where our subject purchased ninety-six acres of land at thirty 
dollars an acre, upon which there was a small house and barn. This property 
he sold a short time afterward and then rented one hundred and seventy-six 
acres of land in Moultrie county, where he continued for twenty-one years and 
became quite successful as an agriculturist and stock-raiser. A turning point 
in his career was reached when he secured a lease on three hundred and twenty 
acres of prairie land in Moultrie county. Upon this there was a lake, which he 
agreed to tile at ten cents a rod for laying the tile and five cents a rod for fill- 
ing, the expense incurred by the purchase of the tile to be taken out of the 
rent. The lease he held for about five years, but in the meantime he purchased 
one hundred and twenty acres of land where he now lives at sixty-five dollars 
per acre and later added forty acres more at one hundred dollars per acre, 
locating thereon about 1900. He also owns one hundred and sixty acres of 
land near Bement. He and his brother were for some time the owners of a 
corn sheller and also became owners of a horse power thresher, which he ope- 
rated for a number of years. On the organization of the Niantic Farmers Ele- 
vator Company Mr. Connaghan became a stockholder and was elected president 
of the company, in which position he still continues. He was also an organizer 
of the Niantic & Harristown Telephone Company and was its second president. 
He resides in. a beautiful and commodious home, heated and lighted according 
to the most improved modern methods, and has equipped his farm with every 
desirable convenience, making it one of the most complete establishments of 
the kind in this part of the county. 

At Decatur, November 24, 1880, Mr. Connaghan was united in marriage to 
Miss Mary Ann Ryan, with whom he had become acquainted in Niantic. She 
is a native of New York state and is a daughter of Patrick and Mary (Cotter) 
Ryan. Seven children have blessed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Connaghan: 
Margaret Edith, at home; Sadie May, the wife of Samuel Gordon, of Macon 
county, and the mother of one child, Alice Louise; Charles Richard, who is a 
graduate of Brown's Business College of Decatur and is living at home; Mary 
Irene, at home ; Blanche ; Leo C. ; and Bernard. 

Mr. Connaghan is not closely affiliated with any political party but usually 
votes the democratic ticket and has held several official positions, discharging 
his duties with the same interest and ability that he exercises in his private af- 
fairs. He is an uncompromising champion of good roads and as road com- 
missioner in Moultrie county for nine years he succeeded in making some of 
the best highways in the county. He has served for a number of years upon 
school boards and, being a strong advocate of education, he has always insisted 
on hiring the best teachers available. He was reared a Catholic and his name 
is found on the membership rolls of St. Ann's church at Niantic, of which benefi- 
cent organization he is a trustee. Mr. Connaghan has found in his estimable 



366 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

wife a loving and faithful companion during all the years of their association 
and in their comfortable home, supplied with every convenience, they now en- 
joy the blessings which are the results of their own prudence and good man- 
agement. They also enjoy the friendship and confidence of the entire community. 



HON. ROBERT A. GRAY. 

The Scotch-Irish in America have gained an enviable reputation on account 
of stanch characteristics which have made them leading members in many com- 
munities. Of this nationality is Hon. Robert A. Gray, now living retired at 
Blue Mound, in the enjoyment of comfort and ease after many years of wisely 
directed effort. He was born in County Donegal in the north of Ireland, Octo- 
ber 16, 1835, and is a son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Patten) Gray. The an- 
cestors on the paternal side settled in Ireland perhaps as early as 1542 and the 
Grays of Castle Torras, though Protestants, were always celebrated for their 
independence and liberal political views and were held in high esteem by their 
Catholic fellow countrymen. The father of our subject came to the United 
States to visit friends in Maryland in 1836 and died very suddenly in Philadel- 
phia. The mother departed this life in Ireland in 1845. There were four chil- 
dren in the family, three of whom are now living: Sarah J., the widow of 
James J. Martin, of St. Louis ; Robert A. ; and William A., now of Blue Mound, 
who was a member of the first company of cavalry that was recruited in New 
York at the time of the Civil war. 

After the death of the father a guardian was appointed to take charge of 
the family estate in behalf of the children. He proved unfaithful to his trust 
and the entire property was dissipated so that the subject of this review was 
thrown early in life very largely upon his own resources. He attended school 
in Ireland and continued his education in St. Louis after coming to America 
in 1 85 1. For a time he taught school and also served as clerk on the steam- 
boats plying the Mississippi and Cumberland rivers. This was early in the '50s 
when Mark Twain was gaining his first experience as pilot on the Father of 
Waters. Mr. Gray, however, was attracted to agricultural pursuits and for 
twenty-five years he was actively connected with the farming interests of Madi- 
son and Christian counties, Illinois. That he was successful is shown by the 
fact that he now owns two hundred acres of good Christian county land and 
other properties which make him financially independent. In 1908 he retired 
and removed to Blue Mound, where he enjoys the association of old friends 
and the leisure which is so essential in making complete the declining years 
of a busy life. 

Mr. Gray has always taken an active interest in public affairs and for two 
years served as deputy assessor of Madison county during his residence there. 
Later while residing upon his farm in Mosquito township, Christian county, 
he became a recognized political leader in his county. In 1874 he was elected 
supervisor of his township, receiving all the votes that were cast except three, 
and was reelected continuously until he became a member of the state legisla- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 867 

ture in 1885. At that time he was a candidate against Job B. Ricks, who had 
previously been an invincible candidate. Mr. Gray carried eleven out of seven- 
teen townships and after the close of his first term in the legislature was again 
elected, serving in the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth general assemblies. He 
was a member of the committees on claims, education and elections. He made 
a record for efficient service which probably has never been surpassed in that 
body. He refused to be a candidate for state senator on account of ill health 
but was again elected to the board of supervisors and served as chairman of 
the building committee which erected the new county courthouse of Christian 
county. He acquitted himself with such high credit in that responsible position 
that the building has often been pointed out as a monument to the honesty and 
fidelity of Robert A. Gray and his associates on the building committee. 

Mr. Gray has been a lifelong observer and student and from his boyhood 
has been a writer of prose and verse. Many years ago he was a contributor 
to the St. Louis Post and the Evening News and also the old Knickerbocker 
magazine and other publications. He wrote "Lines on the death of General 
Logan," which were spoken of by Mrs. Logan in most complimentary terms. 
He also wrote "There's but three pairs of stocking to darn tonight," "Lines on 
the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns," and many other poems which 
he can now readily repeat from memory and which have been copied quite ex- 
tensively by the press. He is greatly interested in the history of his adopted 
state and for many years has served as a member of the board of trustees of 
the Illinois State Historical Library Association, with such men as Judge Lam- 
bert Tree and the Hon. J. N. Perrin. For this library he wrote a history of the 
Scotch-Irish in America, which was published in a volume issued by the or- 
ganization in 1904 and shows a great deal of research. 

On January 24, 1861, Mr. Gray was united in marriage to Miss Martha 
Blackburn, who was born in Ireland, October 21, 1840. She is a daughter of 
Samuel and Martha (Knox) Blackburn, both of whom were of Scotch-Irish 
descent. The father was born in October, 1810, and the mother in April, 1815, 
They were married in Ireland and came to America in 1851, settling 
in Madison county, Illinois, where Mr. Blackburn departed this life in 
1869 and the mother in 1900. They were the parents of nine children, six of 
whom are living. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Gray : Hyde, 
deceased ; William A., of Knox county, Missouri ; Anna B., now Mrs. Walley, 
of Decatur; John K, of Blue Mound; Joseph, deceased; Mary, also deceased; 
Margaret, now Mrs. C. S. Burdick, of Christian county; Elizabeth, now Mrs. 
Frank Long, of Mount Auburn, Christian county; Robert H., also of Christian 
county; Sarah, at home; and James, Frank, Francis S. and Edna B., all of 
Blue Mound. 

Until the Civil war Mr. Gray voted the republican ticket, voting first for 
John C. Fremont, but at the time of the reconstruction in the south he turned to 
the democratic party, to which he now gives his adherence. Fraternally he is 
identified with the Masonic order. He has traveled extensively in the United 
States and few men are better acquainted with the resources and possibilities 
of this wonderful country. He is a gentleman of fine social characteristics, 



368 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

generous, frank, straightforward and modest, and in public and private life has 
always won the respect of all with whom he associated. Starting as a boy upon 
his own resources, he attained deserved success, and now he enjoys the result 
of many years of application. At the same time he is accorded the honor which 
belongs to a man who has sincerely attempted to perform his duty. 



ELIJAH A. MORGAN, M. D. 

While Dr. Elijah A. Morgan is now living retired, he was for many years 
a distinguished member of the medical profession of Macon county, his marked 
ability gaining for him a liberal practice that causes the memory of his pro- 
fessional service to be cherished, while to him is extended the warm friendship 
and kindly regard of many who have been his patients. He was born in Niantic 
township, Macon county, October 10, 1854. His parents were C. W., and Eliz- 
abeth E. Morgan, who were among the first settlers of Macon county, settling 
on a farm in Niantic township ere the work of progress and development had 
been carried forward in the county to any great extent. The father was a 
descendant of a Scotch family, representatives of which came from Kentucky 
at an early day, and purchased a large tract of land in Sangamon county, includ- 
ing the present site of the state capitol. The mother was of German lineage. 
On moving to Macon county C. W. Morgan could have purchased land which is 
today worth two hundred and fifty dollars per acre for the nominal govern- 
ment price of one dollar and a quarter per acre. At that time Decatur was 
simply a trading post and there were no industrial or manufacturing enter- 
prises, and little evidence of future development and growth were to be seen. 
Dr. Morgan acquired his literary education in the Illinois Wesleyan uni- 
versity at Bloomington. From early boyhood he had a desire to take up the 
study of medicine, and his literary work was directed with that end in view. 
After leaving school he became a teacher in the public schools, regarding this 
however as an initial step to other professional labor. He never abandoned his 
idea of one day becoming a physician, and, after his school teaching had pro- 
vided a sufficient capital to tide him over a study period in preparation for the 
medical profession, he became a student in the office and under the direction 
of Drs. Moore and Barnes of Decatur. He supplemented his preliminary read- 
ing by a course in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College of New York city, 
which he entered in 1880, and from which he was graduated in 1883, with the 
valedictorian honors of his class. In his college days, as in his later professional 
career, he was actuated by a desire to attain the highest possible efficiency and 
skill and until the time of his retirement he remained a close and earnest student 
of his profession, constantly broadening his knowledge by wide reading and 
research. From the time of his graduation he gave almost his undivided at- 
tention to his practice, taking little part in other business pursuits and giving 
comparatively few hours to recreation. Immediately after his graduation Dr. 
Morgan located in Maroa, where for fourteen years he enjoyed the largest 
country practice of any physician in the county. In 1897, in order to secure the 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 369 

benefit of better schools for his children, he removed to Decatur, and soon built 
up a large practice in this city, his previous broad experience and compre- 
hensive knowledge being manifest in the ability with which he handled major 
as well as minor cases. He never sought or desired public office, and the only 
municipal position that he ever filled was that of a member of the board of 
education in Maroa for a number of years. Politically he is now and always 
has been a stalwart republican. 

On the nth of August, 1885, Dr. Morgan was married to Miss Margaret 
Happer of Springfield, and unto them have been born two daughters : Marie 
H., and Helen G., twenty-two and twenty years of age respectively. The fam- 
ily home is a hospitable one and the members of the household have many 
warm friends in Decatur and elsewhere in the county. After practicing medicine 
for more than a quarter of a century, Dr. Morgan's health began to fail, and 
three years ago or more he was compelled to retire from active practice on 
account of total deafness and a complication of diseases. He had, however, ac- 
cumulated a sufficient amount of this world's goods to enable him to live re- 
tired and yet enjoy many of the comforts of life. He still retains his mem- 
bership in the American Medical Association, the Illinois State Medical Society, 
the District Medical Society of Illinois, and the Decatur Medical Society. He 
has attained high rank in Masonry, belonging to Ionic Lodge, No. 312, A. F. 
& A. M.; Macon Chapter, No. 21, R. A. M. ; Beaumonoir Commandery, No. 
9, K. T. ; and Medinah Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of 
the Mystic Shrine of Chicago. He also holds membership with Coeur de Leon 
Lodge, No. 17, K. P., of Decatur, and has twice represented the subordinate 
lodge and the Knights of Pythias grand lodge of Illinois, He holds membership 
in the Methodist Episcopal church, and for more than twenty consecutive years 
was an official member of the board. His life has at all times been honorable 
and upright, actuated by noble principles, and throughout his professional career 
he had many opportunities, which he improved, for exemplifying the benefi- 
cent spirit of Masonry and the teachings of his church concerning the brother- 
hood of mankind. 



FREDERICK B. TROUTMAN. 

Frederick B. Troutman is an energetic and prosperous farmer of Harris- 
town township, cultivating one hundred and sixty acres on section 4. He is also 
a stock-raiser and a breeder of Duroc Jersey red hogs, in which business he 
has attained an enviable reputation. He was born on a farm near Wyckles, 
Illinois, June 18, 1877, and is a son of Jacob and Sarah (Morrison) Troutman. 
The father was engaged in agricultural pursuits and the subject of this review 
grew up as a farmer boy and was educated in the district schools. However, 
he was not entirely satisfied with his common-school course and pursued his 
investigations further, becoming a student at the Decatur high school, where 
he continued for two years. His success in his chosen calling is a new evidence 
that a school education rightly used is an important assistant in any business 
with which one may become identified in after years. 



370 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

After laying his school books aside Mr. Troutman returned to the farm 
and continued with his father for several years. Upon arriving at the age of 
twenty-three he was married and for a year was connected with the Mueller 
Manufacturing Company at Decatur. Finding the farm more to his taste, he 
went to Christian county, where he continued for two years, and then came to 
Decatur township, Macon county, but at the end of three years located in Harris- 
town township, where he has since continued. Here he farms one hundred and 
sixty acres and has made a gratifying success not only in agricultural lines but 
as a breeder of hogs. His herd of Duroc Jerseys attracts many buyers and has 
gained reputation which extends beyond the limits of the county. Mr. Trout- 
man has brought to his work a sound judgment so important in the attainment 
of success and has an enthusiasm which has carried him over many difficulties 
that might have defeated a less resolute man. 

On March 15, 1900, Mr. Troutman was married to Miss Rosa D. Musser, 
of Decatur, who was born and reared in Harristown township and is a daugh- 
ter of Adam B. and Mary A. (Cormany) Musser. She is blessed with fine 
mental endowments and a good education and has proven a true assistant to her 
husband, always exerting an influence for further advancement and by her ex- 
ample inspiring others to lives of usefulness. Two children have been born 
to them: E. Lucille, born June 17, 1903; and Alice A., October 23, 1909. 

Mr. and Mrs. Troutman are both members of the Methodist Episcopal church 
at Harristown and active workers in its interest. He has been a lifelong repub- 
lican and cast his first presidential ballot for William McKinley in 1900. He 
is an avowed champion of the principles of his party. Although a young man 
he has made a start which gives great promise of a constantly increasing sphere 
of usefulness. 



SAMUEL C. McCONNELL. 

Samuel C. McConnell is one of the well known farmers of Whitmore town- 
ship, whose worth in the community is widely acknowledged. He owned two 
neat and well improved farms and his energy and well directed activity are 
manifest in the excellent appearance of these places. His life work has ever 
been in harmony with high and honorable principles, and his record proves what 
may be accomplished by determined purpose intelligently directed. 

A native son of Illinois, he was born in Scott county on the 15th of No- 
vember, 1850. His father, Thomas McConnell, was born in Virginia on the 
17th of April, 1826, and was reared in the Old Dominion upon a farm. When 
a young man, he removed westward to Illinois, settling in Scott county among 
its early residents. The conditions and hardships of pioneer life were there 
to be seen, and Mr. McConnell bore his part in the work and progress of 
development as the years passed on. He was married in Scott county to Miss 
Sarah Truesdall, who was born in Virginia, where she was reared to the age 
of fourteen years, and then came to Illinois with her father, who was another 
of the worthy pioneers that Virginia furnished to Illinois. Following his mar- 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 373 

riage, Thomas McConnell carried on farming in Scott county for a number 
of years but in 1861 removed to Macon county, settling in Whitmore township, 
where he cultivated a rented farm for a few years. He reared his family and 
spent his last days in this county, passing away January 22, 1872, when but 
forty-five years of age. His wife long survived him, her death occurring in 
1891. Their family numbered three sons and three daughters, all of whom 
reached years of maturity, those still living being: Charles, who is a business 
man of Wichita, Kansas; Jennie, the wife of John Prey, of Sedgwick county, 
Kansas; Laura, the wife of Reason Reed, of Wichita, Kansas; and Samuel 
C, of this review; William, born in 1854, died October 12, 1886; and Mary, 
the wife of C. D. Sterns, was born August 28, 1852, and died August 14, 1877. 

Samuel McConnell came to Macon county with his parents when a lad of 
nine years, and was reared in Whitmore township, the common schools of 
that locality affording him his educational privileges. He remained with his 
father until the latter's death and afterward lived with his mother until twenty- 
four years of age. He was married in Whitmore township on the 18th of 
February, 1875, to Miss Elizabeth Jane Good, who was born and reared in 
Macon county, a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Barnett) Good. Her 
father was a native of York county, Pennsylvania, and came to Illinois about 
1847. Here he was reared and married, the wedding being celebrated in the 
house in which Mrs. McConnell new resides. The wedding day was June 29, 
1852, and Miss Elizabeth Barnett became his wife. She was a native of Lan- 
caster county, Pennsylvania, and in her girlhood days came west with her 
parents to Macon county, Illinois. Her father, George P. Barnett, was born 
in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, spent the days of his minority there, and 
in 1849 came with his family to Macon county, settling in Whitmore town- 
ship. He entered one hundred and sixty acres of land, which is the farm now 
occupied by Mr. and Mrs. McConnell. Not a furrow had been turned nor an 
improvement made when this property came into his possession, and with de- 
termined purpose and unfaltering energy he began the development of the 
farm. In 185 1 he erected the residence that is now standing upon the place, 
hauling the pine lumber and shingles in a wagon from Chicago. He continued 
a valued representative of the pioneer life of this county until his death, which 
occurred January 23, 1866. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Barbara 
Mussleman, was also a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where she resided 
to the time of her marriage. She died in Macon county, July 24, 1893, at 
the advanced age of eighty-six years. 

Mrs. McConnell has four sisters, namely: Barbara Ann, who is now the 
wife of B. J. McAllister and has two children, Nevin and Grace; Linda, who 
is the wife of Theodore Colman and has three children, Lloyd, Mae and Fan- 
nie; Mary, who is the wife of Theodore Funk and has two children, Mae and 
Carrol ; and Emma Mae, who is the wife of W. R. Adams and has five chil- 
dren, Laura, Doris, Roy, Ethel and Florence. 

Following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. McConnell located on a farm in 
Whitmore township, which he rented and cultivated for several years. In the 
meantime he carefully saved his earnings and at length invested in a farm near 
Argenta in Friends Creek township, becoming owner of one hundred and sixty 



374 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

acres. This was already an improved property, to which he further added 
modern equipments and accessories. He erected a good house, also built a 
substantial barn, a double corn crib and a granary. He fenced and tiled the 
fields and carried on the farm work along most practical and progressive lines. 
Later he and his three brothers bought the place which he now occupies — a 
tract of sixty acres — for their mother, who spent her last days here. Follow- 
ing her demise, Samuel McConnell purchased the interest of his brothers in 
the property, and in 1896 took up his abode upon the farm, which is one of 
the old developed properties of the county. Later, however, he rented the place 
to his son and removed to his present farm, which is situated on section 32, 
Whitmore township, and was the home of Mrs. McConnell's grandfather. He 
has devoted his life to the raising of grain and stock and has been quite suc- 
cessful in raising and feeding stock for the market, this constituting an im- 
portant branch of his business. 

Unto Mr. and Mrs. McConnell have been born two children: Lewis Irwin, 
who is married and for ten years has resided upon the farm formerly occupied 
by his parents; and Valerie Pearl, the wife of Thomas H. Acorn, a farmer of 
Whitmore township. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis McConnell have three children, Ethel 
May, Hazel Lucille and Velma Edith. 

In his political views Mr. McConnell is a democrat, earnest in his support 
of the party principles, but at local elections where no issues are involved he 
votes independently. He has served as township school trustee for a number of 
years, and has also done good and effective work in the interest of education 
as a member of the school board. He was also pathmaster for several years 
and has served on the petit jury but has never desired or sought public office, 
preferring to devote his time and attention to business affairs, in which his well 
directed labors have brought to him substantial success. He has served as ad- 
ministrator for and has settled four or five estates. His labors have been an 
element in the growth and progress of his community, for his cooperation can 
always be counted upon to further any movement for the general good. He is a 
careful conservative business man who has the confidence and esteem of the 
entire community, and his business integrity stands as an unquestioned fact in 
his life work. 



THOMAS BLACKBURN. 

Ireland has contributed to America many of her most active and useful 
young men, who under the republic have accomplished a noble work in assist- 
ing in the onward march of civilization. Every department of American life 
has felt their presence but nowhere has it been more clearly manifest than in 
the agricultural and stock-raising communities. Macon county, Illinois, as a 
great agricultural center has attracted many of the stalwart sons of Erin and 
among them was Thomas Blackburn, now deceased, the subject of this review. He 
was born in County Limerick, Ireland, in 1816. He was educated in his native 
land and there grew to manhood, after which he came to America and for a 
number of years was a contractor in the construction of the Wabash Railway. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 375 

However, he was attracted to agricultural pursuits and, selecting central Illi- 
nois as his choice of location, he began farming in Logan county and later pur- 
chased eighty acres of land in section 22, Niantic township, Macon county, and 
there established his home. He made all the improvements, building a comfortable 
dwelling and constructing outbuildings and fences, gradually extending his pos- 
sessions until he owned two hundred and forty acres in Macon county and 
and became known as one of the most flourishing farmers of the region. 

At St. Louis, Mr. Blackburn was united in marriage, about fifty years ago 
to Miss Mary Clary, who was also born in County Limerick, Ireland, where 
she grew to womanhood, and came to America with her brother. Eight chil- 
dren were born to Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn: Matthew J., a policeman in Chi- 
cago; Margaret, who married John Day and lives at Lanesville, Illinois; Fannie, 
the wife of Patrick Blair, of Springfield, Illinois; Richard, who was born in 
Logan county; Ellen, living at home; Mary, who married Joseph Witt and 
lives at Mount Pulaski, Illinois; Catharine, at home; and William J., also at 
home. 

Mr. Blackburn was called from earthly scenes in April, 1893, at the age 
of seventy-seven years. His wife departed fourteen years later, in 1907. They 
were both buried in the cemetery at Illiopolis and were consistent members of 
the Catholic church. Mr. Blackburn gave his adherence to the democratic party 
but never sought public office, as his interest was devoted principally to his 
family and his farm. He was a man of high character and, starting in life with 
a worthy ambition, he lived to witness its realization. In his estimable wife 
he found a true helpmeet, who proved to him a safe adviser and to her chil- 
dren a loving mother. The names of this worthy couple will long be cherished 
for they had many friends in the county of their adoption. 



CHARLES A. MILLER, M. D. 

Dr. Charles A. Miller, for the last six years in active practice at Macon, 
where he has gained an enviable reputation in his profession, is a native son 
of Illinois, born in Jackson county, November 5, 1875. His parents were Robert 
H. and Elizabeth (Oakes) Miller, the former of whom was born in Cam- 
bridge, Ohio, in 1837, and came to Jackson county, this state, about i860. H6 
was married shortly after the close of the Civil war and for fifty years has 
been identified with the farming interests of his county. The Doctor is one 
of a family of three children, the others being: Hattie, now living at home; 
and Ernest, who married Venita Hall, of McLeansboro, Illinois, and is now 
engaged in banking at Makanda, Jackson county, this state. 

Dr. Miller received his preliminary education in the public schools of Jack- 
son county and, feeling a strong inclination for a professional career, began 
his higher studies in 1896 at Ewing College, Franklin county, this state. He 
continued for two years when, in order to replenish his finances, he engaged in 
teaching school. After two years as a teacher he attended the Southern Illinois 



376 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

Normal School of Carbondale, where he continued for one year. He was next 
a student in the Barnes Medical College of St. Louis for two years and then 
he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Chicago — the medical de- 
partment of the University of Illinois — graduating from that great institution 
in 1902 with the degree of M. D. He began practice at Boody, Macon county, 
but after two years in that community came to Macon county, where he has 
since continued. Dr. Miller has won merited distinction in his profession by 
conscientious application and has availed himself of every opportunity for in- 
formation concerning the various departments of the healing art. He is a 
constant student, his library containing many of the leading works on medicine 
and surgery, while he is also a close reader of the best medical magazines and 
reviews. He is blessed with a cool judgment and having been thoroughly trained 
early in his career under some of the most able teachers in America, he is 
well equipped for the responsible work in which he is engaged. 

In 1902 Dr. Miller was united in marriage to Miss Kate McMurphy, a 
daughter of A. C. and J. A. McMurphy, of Carbondale, this state. She is 
second in order of birth in a family of three daughters. The oldest, Miss 
Daisy, is a trained nurse in Chicago, and the youngest, Carrie, is now Mrs. 
B. F. Norfleet living in Lexington, Kentucky. Mrs. Miller was born in 1877 
and is a woman of unusual intelligence and a devoted wife and mother. Two 
children, twins, Berna and Cecil, born November 18, 1903, have come to brighten 
the home of Dr. and Mrs. Miller. 

The Doctor holds membership in South Macon Lodge, No. 467, A. F. & 
A. M., and also in Beacon Lodge, No. 434, Knights of Pythias, and Camp No. 
362, Modern Woodmen of America. He and his wife are both identified with 
the Order of the Eastern Star, which is one of the auxiliary organizations of 
Masonry. Dr. Miller has from the time of arriving at man's estate been an earnest 
supporter of the republican party. He is not affiliated with any religious de- 
nomination but attends the Methodist church, of whieh his wife is a member 
and to whose beneficences they are liberal contributors. 



JOHN EMMETT HENEBRY. 

John Emmett Henebry, a practical and progressive farmer living on section 
26, Niantic township, not far from the town of Illiopolis, was born in Dewitt 
county, Illinois, November 29, 1869. In his life work he has given proof that 
industry and energy are substantial elements in the attainment of success. His 
parents were Phillip and Bridget (Thorp) Henebry, now residents of Bement, 
Illinois. They were farming people and lived in various places until at length 
they purchased land in Long Creek township, removing to that farm when their 
son John was but a mere child. They there resided until he was about twelve 
or thirteen years of age, when they became residents of Piatt county, Illinois, 
but afterward again settled in Dewitt county. Subsequently, however, they 
went once more to Piatt county. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 377 

John E. Henebry aided his father in the farm work until twenty-one years 
of age, at which time he went to St. Louis, where he was employed in con- 
nection with the operation of the street car system of that city for about two 
months. He then returned home and the following spring hired out by the 
month as a farm hand. Subsequently he worked in the railway shops in Clin- 
ton, Illinois, for a few months but believing that he would find farming a more 
congenial and profitable occupation, he rented land in Piatt county and began 
farming on his own acount. Two years later he went to assist his father on 
a place which the latter had purchase in Champaign county and after a year 
there spent John E. Henebry began farming near Dalton, Illinois. 

On the 6th of February, 1895, in Decatur, he was united in marriage to 
Miss Julia Ann Van Dongen, who was born in the village of Macon in Macon 
county, Illinois, September 26, 1867, and is a daughter of Joseph and Bridget 
(Kane) Van Dongen. Her father was born in a village near Antwerp, Febru- 
ary 27, 1829, and was twenty-one years of age when he came to America. He 
represented an old Belgium family and in his native country he acquired a good 
education. After crossing the Atlantic to the new world he remained in the 
east for a few years and was employed as coachman and as clerk in a hotel 
in Jersey City, New Jersey. Subsequently he came west and for a brief period 
was in Chicago, where he was married. The mother of Mrs. Henebry was 
born in County Armagh, Ireland, and came to the United States with a cousin 
when thirteen years" of age. She was living in Jersey City at the time she 
became acquainted with Mr. Van Dongen. Following their marriage they re- 
moved to Morris, Illinois, where they conducted a hotel for a few years and 
thence came to Decatur, where they also managed a hotel for several years. 
Afterward they removed to other towns and later came to Macon, where Mrs. 
Henebry was born. For about a year they were residents of Tolono, where 
Mr. Van Dongen was employed as a watchman. He lived in Decatur for a 
time and afterward spent twenty-one years upon a farm which he rented, there 
passing away on the nth of January, 1902. 

Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Henebry resided on different farms 
for about four years and then removed to Macon county. Here he has en- 
gaged in general agricultural pursuits and is now occupying the Knap farm on 
section 26, Niantic township. In addition to cultivating the fields he is en- 
gaged in breeding pure bred Percheron horses, high grade shorthorn cattle, 
Poland China hogs and Shropshire sheep. His live stock interests are a very 
important branch of his business and are bringing to him substantial return. 

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Henebry has been blessed with five children : 
Phillip Felix, who was born on a farm near Penfield, Champaign county, Illi- 
nois, January 20, 1896; Anna, who was born September 17, 1898, in Piatt county; 
Joseph F., who died in infancy; Josephine, born in Macon county, May 6, 1903; 
and Bernard who was born on the Knap farm in Niantic township on the 15th 
of May, 1906. 

Mr. Henebry is a democrat but not an office seeker. He was reared in the 
Catholic faith and with his wife attends the church at Niantic. The limited 
financial resources of his father made it necessary that he early depend upon 



378 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

his own labors for support and his life has been a busy, active and useful one, 
in which there have been but few idle moments. His diligence and industry 
constitute the basis of his advancement and have brought him substantial re- 
turn and as the years have gone by he has made for himself a place mong the 
enterprising agriculturists of Niantic township. 



DELANEY & DELANEY. 

One of the leading business firms of Niantic is Delaney & Delaney, dealers 
in grain, buggies, farm implements and live stock. The firm is composed of 
John S. and Lawrence Delaney, natives of Illinois, and sons of James and Mary 
(Doyle) Delaney. Both of the parents were natives of Ireland. James De- 
laney came to America when he was about twenty years of age and in Sanga- 
mon county, this state, he met Mary Doyle, who afterwards became his wife. 
For a time he rented land in Sangamon county, but in i860 bought a small 
tract near Oreana. Prospering in his undertakings, in 1865 he came to Niantic 
township, Macon county, and purchased one hundred and seventy-five acres of 
land, establishing a home where he spent the remainder of his life. By in- 
dustry and good management he increased his holdings until he became the 
owner of a fine farm of five hundred and twenty acres and was known as 
one of the extensive live-stock dealers of the county. He departed this life 
in 1894 but is survived by his widow who is living in Niantic and has arrived 
at the venerable age of eighty-two years. They were the parents of nine chil- 
dren, all of whom grew to maturity, and eight of whom are now living: Anna, 
who married John Hogan and lives at Illiopolis; Patrick W., who lives in 
Decatur; Thomas, a policeman, also of Decatur; John S., born February 3, 
1859, and living in Niantic; Maggie, the wife of James Muldoon, and living 
on the old home place; Michael L., who married Maggie Doran, and' is the 
owner of an elevator at Chatsworth, Illinois ; Lawrence, who married Rosa 
Graham, deceased in 1904, and is the father of seven children; James, who 
married Alice Burns and died October 18, 1909; and Jerry C, of Belief ourche, 
South Dakota, who married Ella Stableton and has one child. 

James Delaney was identified with the democratic party and a stanch be- 
liever in its principles, rearing all of his sons to vote the democratic ticket. Al- 
though the father never aspired to public office himself, John S. Delaney served 
as road commissioner of Niantic township for sixteen sucessive years and suc- 
ceeded in opening up several roads in the township. The father was a lifelong 
member of the Catholic church, retaining his membership with the church at 
Decatur until a building was erected at Niantic, when he transferred his mem- 
bership and from that time forward was a liberal contributor to the Niantic 
branch. Mr. Delaney was a man of great industry, upright and honorable in 
every act, and one of the most public-spirited citizens of his township. He 
taught his children to respect labor and they grew up as independent and use- 
ful members of the community. He was generous and kind-hearted and made 
friends wherever he was known and no one had anything ill to say of James 
Delaney. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 379 

Referring in detail to the firm of Delaney & Delaney, it is proper to say 
that the business was established in 1900 by N. A. Mansfield and John S. and 
James Delaney. They built their elevator the same year and continued to- 
gether until January, 1904, when Mr. Mansfield disposed of his interest and the 
firm was reorganized under the title of Delaney Brothers, consisting of John 
S., James and Lawrence Delaney. On October 15, 1908, the elevator caught 
fire from a passing train and a loss of twenty thousand dollars was inflicted 
which was partially covered by insurance. The elevator was promptly rebuilt, 
the capacity being about forty thousand bushels, and several improvements were 
made in the new building which have assisted materially in the operation of 
the plant. The firm is now prospering as never before and its members are 
justly regarded as substantial and progressive citizens who have the public 
welfare at heart and while they advance their own interests also assist in no 
small degree in promoting the permanent good of the entire region. 



JOHN CLARK. 



John Clark, who since 1908 has enjoyed a gratifying patronage as a grocery 
merchant of Decatur, owns a well appointed store at No. 1549 E. Marietta street 
and resides at No. 650 E. Conduit street. His birth occurred in Northumberland 
county, Pennsylvania, on the 10th of December, 1876, his parents being Thomas 
and Helen (Henley) Clark, who are natives of Ireland and Pennsylvania respec- 
tively. The father was the first in order of birth in a family of six children, 
while the mother was the eldest child of her father's second marriage. They were 
joined in wedlock on the 31st of December, 1875. Thomas Clark was brought 
to the United States by his parents when but two years of age, the family home 
being established in the Keystone state. He came to Illinois in February, 1882, 
and is now a substantial and respected resident of Decatur. He has been engaged 
in coal mining throughout his entire business career and during the past twenty- 
three years has been pit boss for the Decatur Coal Company here. Unto him 
and his wife were born fourteen children, seven of whom passed away in early 
life. The others are as follows: John, of this review; Mary, now living in 
Springfield, who is the wife of Edward J. Morrow and the mother of one child ; 
and Joseph Edward, Helen, Richard, Margaret and Charles, all at home. 

John Clark obtained his preliminary education in a convent school of Decatur 
and afterward pursued a course in the Scranton (Pa.) Correspondence School, 
receiving his diploma in mining in 1893. The following year he passed the ex- 
amination in mining for the state of Illinois, following that profession until 
1902, when he entered the coal office as city scale clerk. In 1908 he embarked 
in the grocery business and has since conducted a successful establishment of 
that character in Decatur, having built up a large and profitable trade. 

In 1898 Mr. Clark was united in marriage to Miss Annie McGonnigle, of 
Decatur, who was the second in order of birth in a family of six children, her 
natal day being March 25, 1882. They are now the parents of six children, 



380 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

namely : Louis Raymond, Helen Josephine, Mary T., Margaret, John and Cather- 
ine, all at home. 

In politics Mr. Clark is an inflexible republican and for four terms he capably 
served as assessor of Decatur township. Fraternally he is identified with the 
Knights of Columbus, the Independent Order of Foresters and the Order of 
Eagles. Both Mr. and Mrs. Clark are faithful communicants of St, Patrick's 
church at Decatur. They enjoy an extensive acquaintance throughout the com- 
munity and well merit the regard and esteem which are uniformly accorded 
them. 



FRANCIS M. HOSTETLER. 

Francis M. Hostetler, a retired farmer and merchant of Harristown, who 
owns about four hundred and twenty acres of valuable farming land in this 
county and an orange grove in Florida, was born in Clark county, Indiana, Feb- 
ruary 3, 1835. His parents, Jacob and Tabitha (Crum) Hostetler, were both 
natives of Kentucky and after their marriage lived in Indiana. In 1835, the 
same year in which our subject was born, the parents came to Macon county and 
located on section 14, Harristown township, where the father entered government 
land at one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre and in the course of years became 
a large landowner and one of the leading men in his community. He was an 
ardent supported of the democratic party and held several public positions of 
responsibility, serving as assessor for one year, as associate county judge, and for 
many years as justice of the peace. He departed this life at the age of sixty- 
three. There were three children in the family: Francis M., the subject of this 
review; Mary Jane, now Mrs. J. C. Campbell, of Decatur; and Malinda E., the 
wife of C. E. Hunsley, of North Dakota. 

Francis M. Hostetler grew up on what was then the Illinois frontier and early 
became familiar with many of the hardships of pioneer life. He was educated 
in a log schoolhouse with split logs for seats and greased paper for windows, and 
he remembers that the first stove that was introduced into the region was placed 
in this little log schoolhouse and was regarded as a great curiosity and attracted 
many visitors. He assisted in the work of the farm and at eighteen or nineteen 
years of age hauled timbers to make culverts and bridges for the Wabash Rail- 
road, which was then in the course of construction through Macon county. From 
his earliest recollection Mr. Hostetler has been identified with farming operations 
and also at various times with the mercantile business and he attained high success 
both as a merchant and as a farmer, possessing unusual foresight and sagacity, and 
being endowed with those habits of industry and perseverance which are so 
necessary in the management of all business affairs. While a young man he 
received as a gift from a member of the family one hundred and sixty acres of 
land in this county, which he still retains, and to which he added from time to 
time until he became the owner of his present large and well equipped farm, 
paying from twenty to seventy dollars an acre for most of the land. At the close 
of the Civil war he engaged in the mercantile business at Tuscola, this state, for 




F. M. HOSTETLER 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 383 

three years, and in 1876 he removed to Latham and was there actively connected 
with mercantile affairs for six or seven years, but he finally located at Harristown 
in 1884, where he has since made his home. 

In 1857, in Decatur township, Mr. Hostetler was united in marriage to Miss 
Elizabeth Wykle a native of Greene county, Tennessee, who passed away in 1907, 
and Mr. Hostetler was again married, April 21, 1910, the lady of his choice being 
Mrs. Bertie (Coleman) McAnderson, who was born in North Carolina, March 2, 
1886, a daughter of William and Ann Eliza (Simmons) Coleman. Her first 
husband was John McAnderson, of Newbern, North Carolina, by whom she had 
one child, Lizzie, born in North Carolina, July 19, 1902. In March, 1903, she 
removed to Point Washington, Florida, and at Bartow, that state she met Mr. 
Hostetler, in December, 1909, the meeting resulting in marriage the following 
April. Mr. Hostetler has recently been in the habit of spending his winters in 
Florida. 

He has been a lifelong democrat but has never been drawn into the whirlpool 
of politics, as his attention has been devoted to his various business interests. He 
is a member of the Christian church and gives liberally towards its support. He 
is also identified with Tuscola Lodge, I. O. O. F., and has made many friends in 
Macon county who admire him on account of his useful life and the interest he 
has always taken in those with whom he has been associated. 



CHARLES A. THRIFT. 

Charles A. Thrift, well known to the people of Macon county, having most 
acceptably filled the office of sheriff of the county for four years, and a success- 
ful farmer and business man, was born in St. Clair county, Illinois, August II, 
i860. He is a son of Andrew J. Thrift, who was a native of Kentucky and 
came in the early days to St. Clair county, this state, locating in Macon county 
in 1863. He was a farmer and starting in this county with one hundred and 
sixty acres of land he increased his possessions until he became the owner of 
a valuable tract of four hundred and eighty acres. He was a democrat and 
was a man highly esteemed by his neighbors and friends on account of many 
valuable qualities. He married Anna C. Peters, who was born in Pennsylvania 
and came to this state with her parents and is now living in the city of Decatur. 
They had four children who are now living: Alonzo M., of Decatur; Charles 
A., the subject of this review; Mary, now Mrs. Welden, of Centralia, Illinois; 
and McKinney, of Alton, Illinois. 

Charles A. Thrift came to Macon county with his parents in 1863. He 
received his education in the public schools and on laying aside his books devoted 
his attention to the farm, continuing under his father until he was twenty-seven 
years of age, when he was married and located on land which was owned by 
his father-in-law. In 1891 he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land, 
comprising part of his present farm in Hickory Point township. By industry 
and good management he was able to purchase more land and now owns a farm 
of three hundred and twenty acres, which is under a fine state of cultivation 



384 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

and has become quite valuable. For a number of years he was interested largely 
in the cattle business and fed a great many cattle upon his farm. Some years 
ago he removed to Decatur and he has since rented his land, his attention be- 
ing applied especially to the mercantile business. In October, 1905, he pur- 
chased the business of J. M. Hughes & Company in Decatur and is now con- 
ducting it under the title of C. A. Thrift & Company, carrying farm machinery, 
seeds, wagons and buggies, and in these lines satisfying a growing demand, from 
a wide region. 

In January, 1887, Mr. Thrift was united in marriage to Miss Jennie A. Mc- 
Kinley, who is a daughter of Samuel and Anna (Foren) McKinley, natives of 
Ohio and Alabama respectively. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Mc- 
Kinley: William, John, Emma, Eugene, Amanda, Alice, Elsie, Esther, Jennie 
and Edward. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Thrift has been blessed by four 
children: Grace Lorraine, who was born March, 1889, and is now a student of 
the Millikin school; Helen McKinley, who was; born January, 1892, and is 
a student of the same school; Charles Lawrence, born February, 1899; and 
Dorothy Jean, May, 1901. 

Mr. Thrift has been for many years an active politician in Macon county. He 
has been identified with the democratic party and has acted as school director, 
collector, and sheriff of the county from 1902 to 1906, and for two terms as 
county supervisor, occupying that position at the present time. Socially he is 
affiliated with Lodge No. 312, A. F. & A. M. ; with Lodge No. 700, I. O. O. F.; 
and Lodge No. 235, K. P. He has for many years held membership in the 
Methodist church at Forsyth, Illinois. From the beginning of his career he has 
shown an energy and ability that seldom fail to produce gratifying results, and 
he has been successful not only as a farmer but also as a public officer and as 
a merchant. He is blessed with a cheerful and loving wife, and a happy family 
and has the confidence and respect of those with whom he has been associated 
either politically, socially or in business. 



GEORGE W. LEHMAN. 

George W. Lehman, a well known business man of Decatur, who has also 
filled with general acceptance important public offices in Decatur and Macon 
county, is a native of Ohio. He was born near Springfield and is a son of 
Peter F. Lehman, who was born in Pennsylvania about 1829, but at the age of 
two years removed to Clark county, Ohio, and came to Macon county in the 
fall of 1865. He purchased a farm north of Bearsdale, upon which he located, 
and the son assisted in breaking the sod and named the town in honor of a 
Mr. Bear, who lived on that spot. This town was located on a railroad switch, 
which was put in upon the solicitation of Mr. Lehman and his son. The father 
was supervisor of Hickory Point township for many years and took quite a 
prominent interest in local politics. As a farmer and stock-raiser he attained 
marked success. He died in 1885, at the age of fifty-six years, and the general 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 385 

expressions of regret indicated the high esteem in which he was held by the 
community. He wedded Mary J. Albin, who was born in Ohio about 1828 
and is now living at 556 West Wood street, Decatur. Eight children were born 
to them, five of whom are now living : George W., of this review ; Ida L., the 
wife of James B. Good, of Macon county ; Emma L., now Mrs. Samuel Cousins, 
of Franklin, Illinois; Kate, now living with her mother; and Minnie, the wife 
of Charles Andrews, of Decatur. The mother had five brothers, Robert, Lemuel, 
George, Cyrus and Samuel, all of whom were brave and patriotic American citi- 
zens, as demonstrated by service under the stars and stripes at the time of the 
Civil war. Robert participated in Sherman's march to the sea. George was 
wounded at the battle of Chattanooga and subsequently died from the effects 
of his wounds. Lemuel gave up his life at the battle of Chickamauga. The 
Albin family is a family of fighters, grandfather Albin having served in the war 
of 1812. 

George W. Lehman was educated in the common schools of the county and 
spent one year at Wesleyan University at Bloomington, Illinois. He began his 
business career upon the farm and also engaged in grain dealing until 1885, 
when he came to Decatur and for two years traveled for a Chicago firm, selling 
agricultural implements. Retiring from the road, he was engaged in the grocery 
business in Decatur for four years and then associated with a brother in the 
implement business as the Spencer-Lehman Company. After some years' ex- 
perience in public office he became a member of the Lehman-Lewis Land Com- 
pany, in which he has since continued. This company handles lands in the Red 
river valley, North Dakota, and as the men in charge are well qualified by ex- 
perience and ability the operations have been carried on with a goodly measure 
of success. 

Mr. Lehman for many years has been closely connected with political interests 
and has been prominent in the councils of the democratic party. For two years, 
from 1894 to 1896, he was chief of police of Decatur and in 1898 was elected 
sheriff of Macon county, serving for four years. In 1905 he was elected mayor 
of Decatur, which office he filled for a term of two years. As a public officer 
Mr. Lehman earned the approval of the best citizens of all parties and con- 
ducted the affairs of the various offices he filled with a conscientiousness and 
ability that reflected on him the highest credit. 

About 1879 Mr. Lehman was united in marriage to Ida M. Lewis, a native of 
Hamilton, Ohio, whose father was David M. Lewis, a farmer. Three children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lehman: Don R., a lawyer, now married and living 
in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Evelyn, a graduate of the Currey School of Ex- 
pression, Boston, and now a teacher in that school; and Everett, who is now 
a student taking the general course at Millikin University. 

Mr. Lehman has been for a number of years a member of the Methodist 
church and socially he is affiliated with the Masonic order, the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of 
America. He has through life been unusually active and efficient in whatever 
he has undertaken and has made many friends by his capable management of 
private and public affairs. He easily ranks as one of the most respected citizens 
of the country. A man of strong individuality, his contact with the world has 



386 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

broadened his mind and developed his sympathies, so that he recognizes the 
limitations and needs of the various classes of society and never judges others 
harshly. As a patriotic citizen he takes a lively interest in everything pertain- 
ing to the community and is ever .ready to assist in any way possible to advance 
its interests. 



edmund s. Mcdonald. 

For thirty years past Edmund S. McDonald has been actively engaged in the 
practice of law in Decatur and has gained a reputation as one of the eminently 
successful attorneys in central Illinois. He has acquitted himself with the highest 
credit in public office and as a business man has shown an ability that has made 
him one of the large landowners of Macon county. Of Scotch ancestry on the 
paternal side, he was born at Sisson's Landing in Wood county, Virginia, now 
West Virginia, September 2, 1851, and is a son of John and Nancy L. (Sisson) 
McDonald, the former of whom was born in Philadelphia and there in infancy 
lost his father, who came to this country from Scotland. Very early in life 
John McDonald was taken to Milford, Ohio, now a suburb of Cincinnati, where 
the home of the family was established. As a boy he was employed in the milling 
and distilling business and later on the river, running between Cincinnati and New 
Orleans. On abandoning the river in 1853, he came to Illinois and spent a year 
in Scott county, at the end of which time he came to Decatur and soon afterward 
located in Long Creek township, Macon county. Here he purchased a tract of 
land and engaged in farming until his death, March 3, 1880. The mother of our 
subject departed this life in July, 1901. She belonged to one of the old and 
prominent families of Virginia and was a woman of many estimable qualities, 
that gained for her the respect of all with whom she was associated. 

Edmund S. McDonald was educated in the public schools and for two years 
engaged in teaching. However, his mind was atracted to professional lines and 
for three years he read law in the office of Nelson & Roby, of Decatur. He was 
then admitted to practice but, desiring to prepare himself still further for his 
chosen work, he spent two years as a student in the law office of Crea & Ewing, 
also of Decatur. In May, 1880, Mr. McDonald opened a law office in this city 
and has continued in active practice ever since. He soon demonstrated his ability 
as a counselor and pleader and he has been identified with many of the most 
important legal causes in central Illinois. He has never chosen any specialty in 
his profession, preferring a general practice. In 1891 he was admitted to the 
bar of the United States supreme court, and from the beginning of his career he 
has always maintained a well equipped office, being the owner at the present 
time of one of the best selected law libraries in the state. While his attention 
has been mainly given to his profession he has made a number of lucrative invest- 
ments and is a prominent landowner of the county. 

Politically Mr. McDonald has given his support to the republican party and 
for many years has been recognized as a power in the politics of Macon county. 
In 1889 he was elected city attorney of Decatur and at the expiration of his term 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 387 

was reelected to the same office, serving four years in all. In the spring of 1907 
the voters of Decatur selected him as mayor of the city. During his term 
of office a large sewerage system was installed, the water-works, owned by the 
city, was rebuilt and many public improvement 1 were made. While mayor of the 
city he became a member of the Mayors Association of Illinois and greatly assis- 
ted in building up the association to its present importance. He served as presi- 
dent of the organizaion for one term and now holds the chairmanship of its 
executive committee. 

In August, 1892, Mr. McDonald was united in marriage to Miss Annabelle 
Thomas, of Decatur, and two children have been born to them, Edmund Urban 
and Valerian. In his wife Mr. McDonald has found an intelligent and helpful 
companion, who has been to her husband and children a constant support and 
encouragement in the pursuit of every worthy end. 

Mr. McDonald was for five years a member of the Illinois National Guard 
and at the present time holds membership in the Masonic fraternity, the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and a number of local 
lodges. His religious belief is indicated by his membership in St. John's Episcopal 
church of Decatur. Personally pleasing and affable, Mr. McDonald is a public- 
spirited man, ready and willing at all times to assist in forwarding the interests of 
the community. His advice is often sought in relation to important public policies 
and experience has shown that his opinions on public questions affecting this 
region are generally correct. No man in Macon county stands higher in the 
esteem of those who know him best, representing as he does in a remarkable 
degree the qualities of a good citizen, a kind husband and father and a real 
gentleman. 



WILLIAM E. HARTMAN. 

For the past twenty years Argenta has numbered William E. Hartman among 
its active, enterprising and progressive business men. He is a prominent repre- 
sentative of its mercantile interests and has gradually enlarged the scope of his 
activities until he now has one of the most extensive and best appointed stores 
of the town. He was born at Maroa on the 31st of May, 1870, and is a son of 
W. H. Hartman, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume. His edu- 
cation was acquired in the public schools of his native town and he received 
his business training in his father's hardware store, assisting him for some time 
in its conduct and management, so that he was well qualified to take charge of 
the store independently, when in 1891 he bought out his father and became sole 
proprietor of the business. For some years they had carried on a tin shop and 
also dealt in shelf hardware. Afterward they increased their stock from time 
to time, adding heavy hardware, and today William E. Hartman has a large 
and well selected line of shelf and heavy hardware and tinware. He likewise 
carries a large line of machinery, farm implements and carriages, having a com- 
modious room for storing the stock. Further extending the scope of his busi- 
ness, he added furniture and has built up a fine trade in this branch. His busi- 



388 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

ness in all departments is liberally patronized, owing to his honorable methods 
and progressive spirit. He is one of the prominent and leading merchants not 
only of Argenta but of Macon county, his life being an exemplification of what 
may be accomplished through close attention to business and progressive methods. 

On the 15th of August, 1891, in Argenta, William E. Hartman was married 
to Miss Edna I. Welton, who was born, reared and educated in this town. They 
are the parents of seven children: Ernest Hartman, who is now a student in 
the Decatur high school; Leslie, who is assisting his father in the store; Eva, 
a student in the conservatory of music in Decatur; Clyde, Herbert, Merwin and 
Florence, all at home. Mr. Hartman purchased a five-acre tract of land upon 
which he erected a large residence thoroughly modern in style of architecture 
and its equipments. In fact it is one of the best homes in the village, tastefully 
furnished, and is moreover the abode of a warm-hearted and generous hospitality. 

William E. Hartman has followed in the political footsteps of his father, 
for his mature judgment has endorsed the principles of the republican party 
and he has taken an active and helpful interest in promoting its growth and 
electing its candidates. He has himself served in various public offices and 
through the discharge of his duties the best interests of Argenta have been 
advanced. For fifteen years he was a member of the town council and for 
two terms filled the office of mayor. He also has served for a number of years 
as school treasurer, being the present incumbent. To his political duties he 
brings the same clear insight and enterprising spirit which are manifest in the 
conduct of his business affairs. In the moral development of the town he is 
also interested and he and his wife are active members of the Presbyterian 
church, in which he is serving as an elder. He belongs to the Odd Fellows lodge 
at Argenta, in which he has filled all of the chairs and is a past grand. He 
has likewise twice represented his lodge in the grand lodge of the state and 
is a member of the Sons of Veterans camp at Decatur. Argenta owes much to 
him in the way of business development and because of his public spirit, which 
has been again and again manifest in active cooperation with all those move- 
ments which tend to promote the material, intellectual, social and political wel- 
fare of the community. 



WILLIAM E. KNIGHT, SR. 

In some of Decatur's finest business blocks and residences are found the 
monument to the enterprise, labor and business ability of William E. Knight, 
Sr., a well known contractor of this city. He was born in La Salle, Illinois, 
October 5, 1857, a son of John and Elmira (Shepherd) Knight, natives of 
Baltimore, Maryland, who in the year 1855 removed westward to Illinois. The 
father was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, for his death occurred in 
1859, when he was but forty-six years of age. His wife survived him until 1871 
and passed away at the age of fifty years. He was a carriage manufacturer 
in Baltimore and in early days there employed slaves to do his work. In his 
business life he was quite successful. 



HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 389 

On the 4th of March, 1864, the family removed from La Salle, Illinois, to 
Decatur, where William E. Knight has since made his home. He acquired his 
education by attending the public schools until eighteen years of age, when he 
learned the carpenter's trade, serving a three years' apprenticeship. During that 
period he gained a comprehensive, practical knowledge of the business in its 
various phases and in 1891 he began general contracting on his own account, 
his work including all kinds of construction. He erected the Home Telephone 
building, the Danzeisen block and other large business blocks, together with 
many of the city's attractive residences. He always lives faithfully up to the 
terms of a contract and the work executed under his direction is of substantial 
character as well as of attractive style of architecture. 

On the 13th of November, 1881, Mr. Knight was united in marriage to Miss 
Sarah E. Davis, of Lynnville, Illinois, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willis Davis, 
the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Illinois. The father followed 
farming for many years and died in 1893 at the age of eighty-two. Unto Mr. 
and Mrs. Knight have been born seven children : Laura L. ; Irene ; William E., 
who is now preparing for a commercial career ; and four sons who died in infancy. 

Mr. Knight and his family attend the Christian church. His political en- 
dorsement is given to the democratic party and he was elected alderman for a 
two years' term. He capably and faithfully discharged the duties of the posi- 
tion, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, preferring to 
concentrate his energies upon his business affairs and the pleasures of social life. 
He belongs to the Knights of Pythias lodge and to the Modern Woodmen of 
America and enjoys the high regard of his brethren of those fraternities. A 
spirit of enterprise and progress actuates him in all that he does, being mani- 
fest in the relations of private life as well as in business. 



JOHN E. COOPER. 



John E. Cooper, who devotes his time and energies to general agricultural 
pursuits in Maroa township, was born in Fountain county, Indiana, in 1856, 
his parents being Alexander and Elizabeth (Stoup) Cooper, natives of Ohio. 
The father's birth occurred in the year 1830, while the mother was born in 1832. 
Alexander Cooper, an agriculturist by occupation, followed that pursuit in Ohio 
prior to his removal to Indiana, from which state he came to Illinois. Here 
he purchased two hundred and ten acres of land, but passed away four years 
later, being called to his final rest in 1876. It was in Indiana that he wedded 
Miss Elizabeth Stoup, who now resides with her son John. They became the 
parents of ten children, three of whom, two sons and a daughter, have passed 
away. The surviving children are as follows: Mrs. Margaret Kaley, John E. 
Cooper, Mrs. Julia Gardner, Mrs. Lottie Brill, Mrs. Mollie Dine, Mrs. Kate 
Barger and Mrs. Thera Carroll. 

John E. Cooper obtained his early education in the schools of his native 
county and later continued his studies in Illinois. Since the age of sixteen years 
he managed the home farm in Maroa township, Macon county. He owns about 



390 HISTORY OF MACON COUNTY 

twenty-seven acres and also cultivates his mother's tract of seventy acres. His 
labors in the fields are annually rewarded by golden harvests and he has long 
been numbered among the enterprising and energetic agriculturists of the com- 
munity. Both he and his mother have resided here continuously for almost 
forty years and the circle of their friends is almost coextensive with the circle of 
their acquaintances. Mr. Cooper gives his political allegiance to the democratic 
party, being a firm believer in its principles. 



EDWIN CHAPPELL, SR. 

Edwin Chappell, Sr., a prosperous farmer of South Wheatland township, 
Macon county, was born October 3, 1852, in Somersetshire, England, his parents 
being James and Jane Chappell, both natives of England but of French descent. 
The father departed this life in 1865, at the age of forty years, but the venerable 
mother is still living in the old country. 

Mr. Chappell was educated in the common schools and grew up upon the 
farm where his father lived, becoming well acquainted with farming operations. 
As a young man he was ambitious and enterprising and desirous of making 
more rapid advancement than appeared possible in his native land, so he decided 
to seek his fortune under the flag of the American republic. Landing in New